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Leaving Their Mark: Donors Fund UC Merced Facilities to Improve Student Experience

October 8, 2006

Leaving Their Mark: Donors Fund UC Merced Facilities to Improve Student Experience

As UC Merced grows, new facilities will help students stay healthy, enjoy social opportunities and study effectively. The names of these facilities honor generous community members who care about creating a first-rate university experience in the Valley. Three donors have recently made major naming gifts to UC Merced.

As a tribute their parents’ belief in making education a priority, Doctors Mahdu Kris and Vijaya Tangella have donated $1 million to UC Merced. Part of the gift will create the Kris-Tangella Academic Excellence Scholarship Fund.

Another portion of the gift has been directed to the chancellor’s discretionary fund. In acknowledgement, UC Merced will name the Kris-Tangella Lecture Hall in the Classroom and Office Building. Doctors Kris and Tangella say they are pleased to memorialize their fathers, Dr. K.V. Krishnayya and P. Rama Tangella, who raised them to be dedicated to education and to the community.

In my family, education was a priority. Everything I do I dedicate to them, Dr. Kris said.

Elizabeth and Joel Wallace of Merced wanted to blend their international personal background with their interest in helping students at UC Merced. The perfect match proved to be a delicious opportunity.

When our children were in college, they found that the student dining center was a meeting place for students from around the world - almost like a little United Nations, Elizabeth Wallace said.

The Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center, named in gratitude for the Wallaces’ $500,000 gift, will continue to serve all comers with attention to the diverse backgrounds of the students who eat there - an ideal fit for the generous and cosmopolitan donors who funded it.

Hanford cardiologist Dr. Rajender Reddy wants to help students maintain their physical well-being so they can focus on studying. Reddy and his wife, H. Jhansi Reddy, have given $1 million to UC Merced and named the Rajender Reddy Health Center.

The health center will be located in the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center opening later this year and will provide a full range of affordable, student-centered affordable services.

I hope the center is used to the fullest extent. It would make me very happy to see students and staff members take full advantage of it, Dr. Reddy said.