Lord Swaraj Paul

Lord Swaraj Paul’s $5 million donation to alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Indian-born British business magnate and philanthropist Lord Swaraj Paul made a handsome donation of $5 million to his alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Auditorium, a venue integral to the university’s community and cultural events. The donation was made through the Ambika Paul Foundation, the charitable trust established by the Paul family, as a gesture of appreciation for MIT’s enduring ties with the family.

“I have always had great respect for MIT as a world centre of technical excellence, and was delighted when my sons (Akash Paul and the late Angad Paul) followed me there in the 1970s and 80s. MIT means a lot to our family, and I am honoured that we are able to support the continuation of its values and way of life through this iconic building,” said Lord Paul.

The Kresge Auditorium, designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, stands as a notable example of minimalist thin-shell concrete architecture, according to MIT. Situated within MIT’s campus since its establishment in 1955, Kresge Auditorium holds significant architectural and communal importance. Renovated in 2016, it not only houses performance facilities and practice spaces for MIT’s Music and Theatre Arts programs but also serves as a versatile venue for a myriad of community activities. These include hosting MIT events, symposiums, student performances, as well as performances by esteemed ensembles like the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and the New England Philharmonic.

It was in 1949 that Lord Paul first came to MIT to study mechanical engineering when only a few Indian students studied in the US. “The experience changed my life,” he said, adding, “Because of my time at MIT, I decided to expand my Caparo companies into the United States, and for more than 30 years, we have made significant investments across the country in our Bull Moose Tube and XL Trailers businesses.”

It was in 1966 that he relocated to the UK and founded Caparo Group in 1968, which evolved into one of the UK’s leading steel conversion and distribution enterprises, producing a diverse array of structural steels, precision tubes, spirally welded tubes, special bar qualities, industrial wires, cold-rolled strips, and spring steel strips.

Lord Paul, who has received 15 honorary degrees from universities in the UK, US, India, Russia and Switzerland, was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1983.

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