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Dhawans’ gift establishes undergraduate research fund at Central College


Central College announced that Tej Dhawan and his wife, Karen Dhawan, both 1991 graduates of the college, have established the Franks-Mahmood Fund for Undergraduate Research. Dhawan, chief data officer with Principal Financial Group and a serial entrepreneur, currently chairs Central College’s board of trustees. He and his wife are both 1991 Central graduates. “Both Karen and I benefited from research opportunities,” Dhawan said in a statement. “You gain so much with collaboration and the individual attention you get with faculty and students working together. It made a meaningful difference in our personal and professional lives.” The fund is named after Robert Franks, professor of computer science, and Cynthia Mahmood, who holds the Frank Moore Chair of Anthropology. Dhawan called both “deep thinkers.” He said he expects the faculty to set the direction of research projects the fund supports. The Pella-based college did not specify the dollar amount of the gift, but said the lead gift is available to fund research immediately, with the intent to build the endowment over time.

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