Hundreds of students, faculty and staff members, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate a transformative gift resulting in the naming of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. The department will now be named the Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Alumnus Sanjay Chandra and his family gave a generous gift to help support the future of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Recognized as a national leader in research and education, with its programs consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country, it is the largest department in the Cockrell School, with more than 2,200 students and 80 faculty members.
“As a dedicated advocate for the value of higher education, Sanjay chose to give back to this department because of the powerful impact that his academic experiences had on his life and career,” said Roger Bonnecaze, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “Sanjay and his family have been a fixture within the Cockrell School community for many years. Through the resources and educational experiences made possible by his gift, Sanjay and his family will have a significant impact on our community and leave a lasting legacy in our school.”
Chandra received a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UT Austin in 1987 and has served on the Cockrell School’s Engineering Advisory Board for many years, most recently as vice chair. He was named a Distinguished Engineering Graduate of the Cockrell School in 2016. Sanjay and his wife, Manisha, have three adult children, Deepak, Shivani and Malini. Deepak received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UT Austin in 2018. For the past 16 years, Sanjay Chandra has served as managing partner for Trinity Investors, a private equity firm based in Southlake, Texas, that invests in operating companies in a variety of sectors, as well as real estate development.
“When asked to name the department, I requested it to be named the Chandra Family Department because of how important family is to my core values,” Chandra said. “I hope this gift helps to instill a legacy of philanthropy and impact for many generations of Chandras to come. I wouldn’t be here today without my parents. I’m a first-generation immigrant, and it is because of my parents’ incredible support that we were set up with an opportunity for success. I’m very thankful for their sacrifices, for it is largely because of their foresight to imagine a greater future for my brother and me that this gift is possible.”
Their gift will help to provide critical resources for graduate and undergraduate student programs and significant investments in faculty teaching and research. And it will help advance recent technological breakthroughs in areas including new computing paradigms, artificial intelligence and their biases, and the intersection of health and engineering.
"The impact of Sanjay’s support will be felt and amplified for decades as the students and faculty who benefit from it change truly the world through their academic achievements and research breakthroughs," said Diana Marculescu, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "Through this support, Texas ECE becomes the highest ranked named department in the nation and superbly well equipped to support the University's mission of becoming the most impactful public university in the world."
This transformational investment from the Chandra family supports UT’s What Starts Here fundraising campaign — the largest campaign in Texas higher education history. The university publicly launched the campaign in March with a goal to raise $6 billion, with $1 billion earmarked for scholarships and student support programs.