2nd Annual “University of Houston Day” at India House


Photos: Bijay Dixit

HOUSTON: On Wednesday, February 17, as the sun was setting down, India House started buzzing with dozens of enthusiastic youngsters, most of them with parents or other family members, to attend this very important day to figure out how to navigate towards their future career. Together, India House and University of Houston, under the leadership of President Dr. Renu Khator, who is also the Chancellor of UH System, organized this special UH Day at India House to guide students at all levels to select the correct path to carve their future career and head in the right direction to crystallize their educational goals.


Dr. Durga Agrawal (Left), Dr. Renu Khator (Right)

The event started with social hour and visit to multiple informative booths, representing all the 13 colleges of UH to give a general information about what each of the college can offer. The attendees, about 250, were treated to delicious dinner catered by Kurrywalah of Katy. Once inside the Banquet halls, where the main event was hosted, India House President, Dr. Manish Rungta welcomed all and spoke about the partnership of the two institutions, whose mission is to serve the Greater Houston community at large and help each individual to attain their full potential. India House serves very young students, who are just starting school and UH educates more senior students who are thinking about their career paths.

Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director, India House presented programs and activities of India House through a video. He introduced Dr. Richard Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, UH, who talked about the UH programs with emphasis on enhancing student success and their learning experience; by integrating and providing both curricular and extra-curricular opportunities to the students and by building a strong campus and community collaborations to prepare them for life experiences.


Jeff Fuller (Left), Dr. Richard Walker(Right)

Dr. Durga Agrawal, the founder President and current Trustee of India House who is also a Regent of UH system, while introducing Dr. Renu Khator, spoke fondly with great pride about the amazing progress that UH, his alma mater has made during the last 7 years since Dr. Renu Khator took charge. He talked about her perfect work-life balance with everyday yoga and precious family time and how her husband, Dr. Suresh Khator is the dreamer, architect and engineer of her dreams. Dr. Agrawal spoke about the Cullen College of Engineering, where he earned his Masters and Doctorate degrees, while working full time. He talked about highly ranked Colleges like Bauer College of Business, College of Optometry, Law School and School of Hotel and Restaurant management and three new National Research Centers in sub-sea systems, superconductors and border issues. Dr. Durga Agrawal enlightened students and their families about University of Houston’s illustrious achievements.

1.    UH is among the top 100 universities in the world that produce most millionaires!!   Yes, Millionaires!! some of them were here among the attendees.
2.    Many of the students are now launching start-up companies and generating over 25 million dollars per year in royalties from the commercialization of intellectual properties — #1 in Texas; higher than UT and Texas A&M.
3.    One billion dollars of construction projects are going on, including opening of new football stadium!! and UH Cougars are currently Peach Bowl Champions!!
4.    Last Texas Legislature approved $362 million for all 7 new buildings requested by UH, including cutting edge Health and Biomedical Sciences Building.
5.    Over 13000-15,000 degrees awarded every year from a total enrollment of approx. 70,000 students, for all four campuses.  The annual operating budget is close to 1.3 billion dollars.
6.    UH has the 2nd largest residential campus in the state of Texas with more beds in the dorms, “Residential Halls” than UT Austin.
7.    According to the U.S. News & World Report, Nine graduate programs now rank in the top 50, and 27 rank in the top 100, almost double from six years ago.
8.    UH has just been awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most selective academic honor society.
9.    UH’s latest achievement is the selection of its campus by CNN for the next Republican Party Debate on February 25, before Texas primary elections on Super Tuesday.


Col. Vipin Kumar

President Dr. Renu Khator called University of Houston the “Power House”, Tier One public research institution with the vibrant and ethnically diverse community. She gave a very inspiring and enthusiastic welcoming speech and her passion and personal involvement was obvious when she mentioned that the freshmen will not be surprised when she will show up any day in their first semester in their class, as she is always interested in every student. She was very proud of the fact that UH had become a truly residential University and students need not commute for hours through the crowded pot holed streets with daily traffic jams and accidents. She jokingly emphasized to the new comers that they will be far enough from the Moms to be free and do without being watched every moment and still not too far to go home for the weekly laundry and Mom’s cooking. At the same time she also assured the Moms that she, instead of the Moms, will be keeping an eye on them. She emphasized on developing skilled workforce and future leaders within Houston. With strong local support and industry strength with energy, healthcare, and arts, students are encouraged to develop their skills in a global environment. With the appointment of Dr. Steven Spann as planning Dean, UH is working towards the 2019 goal for a Medical School. She thanked Dr. Durga Agrawal for the wonderful words about University of Houston and community support from India House and Indo-American Community. Three students from UH spoke about their experience and good choices in making the right decisions towards their career goals with University of Houston.

After that, Jeff Fuller, Director of Student Recruitment spoke in great detail about each College and the facilities and scope of learning and the future prospects after graduating from the particular College. Once the formal program concluded, every student was encouraged to spend some time to meet the Departmental Faculty and Staff to learn about various financial and residential choices and opportunities.

The students and their families were delighted to have this opportunity at UH Day and thanked profusely the organizers and UH Faculty and Staff.  They truly felt that they benefitted immensely from this yearly event held at India House.