Miami alums seed $1 billion goal

A Miami University board member — a prominent national business leader — is among a group of alumni getting Miami more than halfway to a $1 billion decade-long fundraising goal.

Dinesh and ILA Paliwal made a $2 million gift to the Miami College of Engineering and Computing to realize its vision for attracting and retaining prestigious faculty leaders in high-demand fields. The gift from the Paliwals establishes an endowed dean position, a first for the engineering college.

Paliwal serves on Miami’s board as a national trustee. He is a highly decorated business professional, having been named to Fortune Magazine’s “Business Person of the Year” list.

Dinesh Paliwal, a 1983 Miami graduate, is a partner at KKR, a leading global investment firm headquartered in New York. He also serves on the board of directors for Fortune 500 corporations Nestlé and Raytheon and is chairman of the automotive electronics corporation Marelli. He formerly served as president and chief executive officer of Harman International, an American audio and automotive electronics company, and chairman and CEO of ABB Inc. USA.

“It is a privilege and highly gratifying to give back to the university that provided the foundational platform that my humble achievements have been built upon,” Paliwal said. “The College of Engineering and Computing at Miami University continues to evolve, and I am pleased to help strengthen the school to ensure it stays a relevant and leading force for engineering education in the U.S. through growth in robotics, block chain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and other software applications.”

The gift coincided with the public launch Oct. 8 of Miami’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, which has tallied $564 million since its launch in July 2016. The Paliwals gift was overshadowed in the news this past week by Miami alumnus John Metz and his husband, Ali Khan, who made a commitment to bequeath Miami University $46 million upon their passing. The largest individual gift in Miami’s history, it is designated for scholarships in support of students who are Pell-grant eligible — those who are the most in need of financial assistance.

An avid art collector and retired employee relations executive, Metz graduated from Miami in 1957. Originally from Cincinnati, he moved to New York City in 1965. Metz’s philanthropy at Miami began in 2007 when he surprised his classmates with a $5 million bequest to the class gift that marked the 50-year reunion for the Class of 1957. He and Khan established the John Metz and Ali Khan Scholarship Fund in 2019.

ILA Paliwal is a classically trained Indian vocalist, director, and producer who has earned international acclaim and performed worldwide, including at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. ILA chairs the Paliwal Family Foundation and also serves on not-for-profit boards of Pratham USA and Central Park Conservancy, New York.

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