Watch the slide show video of the visit on Youtube.
During his travels to visit family in India this week, Dean Sastry Pantula met with India’s President Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Head of the State, one of the most magnificent structures in the world in terms of size and vastness. Dean Pantula was part of a special alumni group of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata.
The group was honored to meet with the President, followed by an organized tour of the Bhavan and high tea in the Great Dining Room. A former classmate of Dean Pantula’s introduced him to the President and invited him to deliver a memento to the President. He gave him a little bit of Oregon State University—an OSU engraved clock—to him on behalf of the College of Science. He also shared a copy of his 2011 commencement speech for ISI graduates with President Mukherjee, which emphasizes about mentorship and echoes values of harmony, diversity and excellence as OneScience. ISI’s motto is “Unity in diversity.”
ISI director Bimal Roy spoke next followed by remarks from President Mukherjee. The President welcomed the ISI alumni to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and said that ISI is a leading institution in India for research, teaching and application of statistics, natural sciences and social sciences. He focused on the importance of statistics and the role the Indian Statistical Institute plays in financial planning in India.
In talking about his strong association with ISI over the years, the President expressed his privilege of working with the many “mighty minds,” which is what he most valued. He recognized ISI alumni for the tremendous impact they have globally as well as for their strong identity and bonds with each other. He sees the love, affection and bonhomie that they still share today even after many decades.
The President recognized that alumni as a body can contribute substantially in the development of an institution, stating that most of the world famous educational institutions have developed as a result of the contributions of their alumni. He hoped that the connection ISI alumni have to their alma mater would result in the productive development of the organization.
President Mukherjee concluded by urging the statisticians to dedicate themselves with renewed energy to statistics and seek answers to the most pressing global problems, such as global warming, disease alleviation and terrorism.
This was not the first time Dean Pantula has met with Shri Mukherjee. Pantula shared the stage at the 2011 ISI Commencement Ceremony with President Mukherjee when he was the Finance Minister and the Chair of the ISI Council.
Read the official press release from the President of India website.
The visit garnered extensive media coverage: