Krishnan-Sethu Endowed Presidential Scholarship
“This endowment is to honor ordinary people who were extraordinary parents”
Rupa and Satish, who are married, completed graduate programs at the University of Texas at Austin in 1994. Satish earned a PhD in Finance from McCombs Business School while Rupa graduated with a Masters in Electrical Engineering. Their four years in Austin were very special—the university campus was their home-away-from-home in India and the campus community an extended family. They cherish their memories of spending time at a vibrant campus with excellent research and academic facilities. Their family continues to follow and celebrate Longhorn sports teams.
Family with Satish’s parents
Satish and Rupa would like people to know that their parents, who are from India, are ordinary people who did extraordinary things as loving fathers and mothers. They were not from privileged backgrounds and neither did they receive support from elsewhere. Their story is one of hardworking families that struggled much of their lives to make ends meet, made everyday sacrifices and gave their best to their children. They believed in the power of education and it was one of the best gifts from them. Their parents trusted them, had unshakable belief in their abilities, raised them to aim high and were the best example of what work ethic really means.
Satish’s father, Mr. Krishnan, an electrical engineer, who grew up in a small village in Kerala, India, as the eldest of ten siblings. He walked several miles to high school daily, studied under kerosene lamps as there was no electricity and excelled in both academics and sports, representing his college in soccer and volleyball. While he had aspirations to attend graduate school in the US and even had admission to what is today Case Western Reserve University, he had to drop the idea due to the lack of funds and the pressure to support his family financially. Mrs. Lalitha Krishnan, Satish’s mother, is the youngest of four. She enrolled in college to study zoology and botany but had to drop out because of family circumstances. Her life has revolved around the home and family.
A few years ago, during campus visits with her granddaughter, it was she who was most excited and wished she could go back to school to experience college life. Rupa’s father, the late Mr. Krishna Sethu was born and raised in Mumbai, India as one of six children. He also had a strong sense of family responsibility and supported his mother financially until she passed away. After graduating from college with a Bachelors in Physics. he went to work for Esso, the oil company, and bought a 1954 Chevrolet car, a rarity in India, the beginning of his lifelong love of cars. Mrs. Sarasa Sethu, Rupa’s mother, grew up as the only girl in a family with five children. She was not given the opportunity to attend college, instead had to step into the role of taking care of her home and family.
An avid newspaper reader, she keeps current with world affairs and today applauds the achievements of women. Satish and Rupa’s mothers are examples of the strength and determination of women who faced challenges from society and yet raised daughters who are strong and independent. They grew up at a time when girls were not encouraged to pursue higher education or careers. These mothers, who never went to college, raised their children to believe that the sky is the limit. When Satish and Rupa now think of these stories and their individual backgrounds, it is with amazement that they realize the power of hard work and a great education. This endowment represents gratitude to the University of Texas at Austin. Through this scholarship, they would like to recognize their parents and support incoming students towards superior educational goals and aspirations. Peruvemba K. Satish and Rupa K. Sethu April 2018.