Chandran Family Giving $1 Million to Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering

DURHAM, N.C. -- Clarence Chandran and his late wife Beverley are giving Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering $1 million in separate gifts for the new Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (CIEMAS) and for research in brain tumor imaging.

"These gifts are a very significant contribution to our effort to make Pratt a global leader in engineering research and education," said Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane in announcing the gifts Monday. "We are deeply grateful to Clarence and Beverley for their investment in Pratt's future."

Chandran, who lives in Cary, is the former chief operating officer of Nortel Networks and is now chairman of the board of InfoClarus, a business services company that focuses on wireless communications. Beverley Chandran died earlier this month of cancer.

Pratt Dean Kristina M. Johnson said $500,000 from the Chandran Family Foundation will support CIEMAS and its programs and $333,333 will endow the Beverley A. and Clarence J. Chandran Distinguished Lecture Series and research focused on advances in brain tumor imaging. The latter gift will be matched by the Nicholas Faculty Leadership Initiative, bringing its total to $500,000. In addition, the foundation is directing $166,667 to the Pratt School through the Duke Annual Fund.

The inaugural Beverley A. and Clarence J. Chandran Distinguished Lecture is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in Room 2002 North, Duke Hospital. James M. Provenzale, M.D., professor of radiology, and Timothy Haystead, Ph.D., associate professor, pharmacology and cancer biology, will present "Molecular Features of Brain Neoplasms: MR Imaging and Proteomics Perspectives."

CIEMAS is a 322,000-square foot, four-story facility that will support Pratt initiatives in bioengineering, photonics, communications and materials science and materials engineering. It also will house collaborative research facilities with the Duke School of Medicine. It is scheduled to open in August 2004.

The support for the Pratt School of Engineering comes through the Campaign for Duke, which seeks to fund the university's strategic plan, "Building on Excellence." One of the plan's chief goals is to "significantly strengthen science and engineering."