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Narayana Murthy to ‘find’ his friends in “United States”

While a trip to the United States may not be unusual for Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, the one starting this week promises to be different. Kick-starting one of the biggest alumni hunts, Narayana Murthy and his team will be travelling coast to coast in the US to find and reconnect with the ‘missing’ alumni of the Mysuru-based.
It is estimated that around 8,000 graduates from the institute who moved to the US – especially in the 1960s and 1970s – had lost touch with their alma mater and their colleagues over the years. Given the prevalence of social media and various other channels of communication, it is now time to reconnect.
According to NIE principal Gowri L Shekar, NIE had been planning an expansion and had recently inducted Narayana Murthy as a board member. “It was Murthy’s idea to reach out and reconnect with the institute’s global alumni. It is a fact that thriving institutes across the globe maintain a good relationship and are in contact with their alumni. So, we too are attempting to do this. Murthy, who is on the board of some top institutes in the world, including Princeton, suggested that we take a global tour to connect. So, as per the plan, our team along with Narayana Murthy will begin our alumni connect in Austin on April 30 and conclude their trip in New York on May 7. In a span of eight days, they will organize events in six US cities and meet with our alumni,” added Shekar.
Shekar said that Narayana Murthy is deeply involved in their efforts to reconnect with the institute’s alumni. “Narayana Murthy has asked us to concentrate on the San Francisco Bay Area and talk to the alumni there and build a connection. He said doing so will make us a healthier institution and will add immense value to the university.
“His knowledge of higher education is very significant as he is well aware of the industry. His mantra was that well-known universities in the West focus on their alumni and Indian colleges should follow suit. He spoke of adapting good practices of universities and the US alumni connect tour is part of it,” said Shekar.
Narayana Murthy passed out of NIE in 1967 with a degree in electrical engineering and was the highest ranking student from his branch. “One thing I remember was his punctuality, he would not miss a single class even on days when there was a strike or a bandh in Mysuru. Narayana Murthy would often recall his mother’s words that he was studying in an aided college which was funded by the state government and hence bunking a single day would amount to doing injustice to tax payer’s money. So, Murthy religiously followed his mother’s words and never missed a class,” added Shekar.

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