Following two previous donations, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science alumnus Mukund Padmanabhan has announced that he will make an additional gift of $500,000 to support the Guru Krupa Foundation Fellowship in Electrical Engineering, bringing the foundation’s total support for UCLA graduate students in electrical engineering to $1.5 million.

Padmanabhan, founder of the Guru Krupa Foundation, said he was inspired to offer the fellowships based on his own experience. "My education at UCLA has served me very well," he said. "But it almost didn’t happen. It was only because of a last-minute award of a fellowship that I was able to attend UCLA."

The first two Guru Krupa Foundation gifts of $500,000 — made in 2009 and 2011 — were directed toward students working in the areas of integrated circuits and signals and systems. Fellowships funded by the third gift are available to students in any electrical engineering discipline.

"I set up the first two fellowships because I wanted to increase the odds of someone in my situation in India having the same opportunity I had," Padmanabhan said. "Since then, I've had an opportunity to see the working of the process and meet with some of the fellowship recipients, and I feel that the fellowships are having the intended impact — hence the decision to extend the gift with a third fellowship."

The Guru Krupa Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of impoverished families, provide opportunities in higher education to those who could not otherwise afford it and support cultural and religious organizations in the United States and India.

This story is adapted from a longer article on the UCLA School of Engineering website.