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SFU alumnus and wife gifts over $600K to support incoming economics graduate students

September 14, 2021

Although it has been more than 30 years since Shiva Nanda graduated from Simon Fraser University (SFU), the teachings and experiences still stay strong with him to this day. Inspired by his life-affirming experience as a master's student at SFU Economics, Nanda and his wife Elizabeth are committing more than half a million dollars to establish an endowment supporting incoming graduate students.

Dedicated to the memory of their parents Madhusudan Nanda, Sakuntala Nanda, and Penelope Stetson as well as Nanda's sister and brother-in-law, Sailabala Das and Dr. Suresh Chandra Das, the endowment is also a tribute to Nanda's late mentors professors Parzival Copes, Zane Spindler, Terry Heaps, and Don DeVoretz. 

"Elizabeth and I are grateful to have had the opportunity to give back to SFU," says Nanda. "It is a very humbling and enriching experience." 

The Nandas' gift to the Department will create two new scholarships — the Shiva and Elizabeth Nanda Entrance Scholarship in Economics and the Shiva and Elizabeth Nanda PhD Fellowship in Economics. These scholarships will help SFU Economics widen its pool of candidates from around the world and position itself to attract more high-caliber students into its MA and PhD programs. This will not only allow the Department to stay competitive at the international level and secure its position as one of the top economics schools in Canada but it will also greatly enhance the vibrant research culture that is the hallmark of SFU Economics. 

"We aim to give our graduate students the firm grounding in economics and the intellectual curiosity to succeed as researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. We are delighted that Shiva has found this success and that he and Elizabeth have chosen to share it with future generations of students," says acting department chair Brian Krauth. "Their generous donation will help us attract strong students and give them the resources to make the most of their opportunities here."