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Updated 4:00 PM January 24, 2007




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$1M U-M gift to promote U.S.-India relationship

Crediting U-M as the springboard for their good fortune, Ranvir and Adarsh Trehan are donating $1 million from the Trehan Foundation to their alma mater to encourage current and future collaborations between the University and India.

The Trehans came to U-M from India in 1964 with about $1,000. Ranvir Trehan, who studied operations engineering , went on to start SETA Corp. as a one-man information technology solutions provider in 1987. By 2004, when it merged with Apptis Inc., SETA had more than 600 employees and annual sales of about $86 million.

Today he is vice chairman of Apptis, which runs SETA as a subsidiary with clients that include most executive branch departments of the federal government.

"We feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to the University of Michigan and hope this gift will help U-M help others," Ranvir Trehan says.

The first three projects to benefit from the gift include:

• An elections research project examining hundreds of millions of votes cast in India. The research will examine correlations between voting patterns and socioeconomic status.
• An archeological dig of prehistoric sites in India's Tungabhadra Corridor joining faculty and students from U-M, the Karnataka Department of Archaeology and Museums, The National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore; and Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, India.
• A collaborative project between U-M, Heidelberg University in Germany and SARAI/ Center for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India, to create a transnational digital archive for popular Indian visual culture.

While the first three projects will be conducted by the faculty members in LSA, the funds from the gift will be available to support instructional, research and public service projects across the entire University. The emphasis will be on India and the U.S./India connection, with projects developed and carried out under the auspices of the Center for South Asian Studies.

The Trehans' gift is among the latest in a series of donations supporting The Michigan Difference campaign, the University's $2.5 billion fund-raising campaign to build its endowment and support new construction, faculty, students and programs.

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