June 20th, 2014

Kilachand Honors College: first graduates

Academic groundbreakers complete their studies

On May 15, 2014, the 39 members of the first graduating class of BU’s Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College gathered in the ballroom of Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel with their families and the College’s faculty to celebrate the class’ approaching commencement.

The seniors were hosted by Rajen Kilachand (GSM’74), whose gifts, totalling $35 million, helped create the new college and its home, Kilachand Hall.

“It’s a fantastic day,” Kilachand said at the event, “not only in your lives, but also in my family’s.” More than 30 of his family and friends attended the celebration.

It’s a fantastic day, not only in your lives, but also in my family’s.” —Rajan Kilachand

In his speech, Kilachand sought to clarify “why a guy like me, coming from Bombay, India, living in Dubai,” decided to invest in an honors program at BU. “My dream is very simple,” he explained. The idea was to create a small institution that would provide an interdisciplinary education to the kinds of students who will one day lead our global society. Today, “I’m in the midst of future prime ministers and presidents who will have come out of Kilachand Honors College,” said Kilachand, addressing the new graduates.

Since fall 2010, the University has offered seats in the honors college to its most highly qualified incoming freshmen. As entering freshmen, the Kilachand College Class of 2014 were in the top three percent of their high school classes, had an A average, and had an average SAT score of 2171.

Four years later, they graduate BU with an average GPA of 3.71, and 95 percent have earned Latin honors. Most will go on to pursue graduate work, including at Harvard Business School and Yale Medical School.

“It could not have been better,” Kilachand said of the feedback he received from the graduating seniors. “Almost everybody agrees that they had a great experience, and that is the most important thing in life.”

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