WRITTEN BY: PARINITA GUPTA
(May 10, 2023) New York University (NYU) has made a significant investment of $1 billion in the Tandon School of Engineering, with the aim of improving its standing among competitors and enhancing New York City’s reputation as a hub for technology. The Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn has been named after Indian American philanthropists Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon. Chandrika, who is the chairperson of Tandon Capital Associates, is a successful businesswoman, philanthropist, and an accomplished singer.
Chandrika hails from a Tamilian family in Madras, founded Tandon Capital Associates in 1992 and has advised clients such as Chase Manhattan Corporation and Bank of America. She also made history as the first Indian-American woman to be elected partner at McKinsey and Company.
As per Chandrika Tandon’s husband, Ranjan, the investment will also enhance the laboratory facilities at NYU’s Brooklyn campus, with a significant focus on hiring top-notch faculty members specializing in robotics, health, and data science. This philanthropic contribution is considered to be the most substantial donation made by a member of the Indian American community. “Continuing the stunning upward trajectory! So thrilling! Love Light Laughter,” Chandrika had tweeted.
The investment in NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering will also enable the optimization of research space, study areas, and student life amenities. This will create a more conducive environment for collaboration and innovation among students and faculty, promoting interdisciplinary learning and problem-solving. “Chandrika stands out among the trustees not just for her extraordinary generosity, and not just for the conviction she so clearly demonstrates in the School of Engineering’s bright future, but also for her selfless involvement with the University community,” said Martin Lipton, NYU Board of Trustees Chair.
Chandrika and her husband Ranjan are passionate advocates of STEM education, particularly in applied sciences and the creative disciplines that such an education cultivates. They view their philanthropic work as an opportunity to give back to the city that has given them so much, with the hope that their contributions will bring together diverse groups to revolutionize engineering and advance New York’s reputation as a hub for science and technology. Ultimately, they believe that their support will help nurture the next generation of young innovators, applied scientists, and entrepreneurs.
In addition to her business and philanthropic work, the Global Indian is a board member of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and serves on the Berklee Presidential Advisory Council of the Berklee College of Music. Her talents also extend to music, and she received a Grammy nomination for her album ‘Soul Call’ in 2011, which was recognized in the Best Contemporary World Music category.