Virginia Tech has announced a $10 million gift from alumnus and board member Mehul Sanghani ('98) and his wife, Hema ('99).
The gift includes $7.4 million in support of the newly renamed Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, which will be housed in the first academic building scheduled to open in 2024 as part of the university's $1 billion Innovation Campus in Alexandria. The bulk of the funds will provide endowment support for research, faculty recruitment, and fellowships at the center, which was established in 2011 as the Discovery Analytics Center, with the remaining funds supporting scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate degrees in AI and related fields.
The gift total also includes $1.5 million to enhance access to food for students facing food insecurity and additional support for Virginia Tech Athletics and a Global Business and Analytics Complex planned for the university's Blacksburg campus.
"Higher education is the perfect vehicle for a gift like this," said Mehul Sanghani, who earned degrees from Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and College of Science and went on to found Octo, a company that provides technology and IT modernization services to the federal government. "With Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus coming online, we were presented with the unique opportunity to be part of growing our university's standing as a world class institution that uses innovation — specifically artificial intelligence and data analytics — to transform our society for the greater good."
(Photo credit: Virginia Tech)