In a heart-warming gesture on ‘Guru Purnima’ Day, July 27 2018, the IIMB alumni, led by the PGP Class of 1992, Rahul Shukla, Prashant Jain, Ashish Parthasarathy and many others, raised INR 2 crores and dedicated a classroom on the picturesque IIMB campus to their beloved teacher, Professor Vatsala Nagarajan.
“This is the first time in the history of IIMB that we have a classroom named after a faculty member,” said IIMB Director Prof. G Raghuram, adding that he hoped this unique alumni-seeded initiative would inspire other alumni to take up similar causes.
Professor Vatsala Nagarajan joined IIM Bangalore on February 1, 1974, in the Finance area. She served as Dean from April 18, 1991 to September 30, 1992, before retiring from the services of the Institute on September 30, 1992.
An outstanding teacher, friend, guide, and mentor to students, staff and faculty, Professor Vatsala was always approachable, supportive and positive. Those gathered in Classroom L-11 at IIMB declared that she is indeed an embodiment of the sentiment, ‘Acharya devobhava’.
The 86-year-old professor was accompanied by her husband Shri KS Nagarajan to the function at IIMB today.
“Epitomizing the best traditions of Indian academia, she combines a sharp intellect with modesty, humaneness, and last but not the least, a sense of humour,” said Prof. KRS Murthy, former Director, IIMB.
Several speakers, ranging from her students to her family, shared their thoughts on how Prof. Vatsala Nagarajan influenced them and made them better persons.
Responding to them, Professor Vatsala Nagarajan said, “Parents are normally proud of their children when they do well. A teacher is always proud when all her students do well. When I think of my students at IIMB, it makes me happy and proud, not just because they are successful in what they choose to do but also because they have good hearts.”
IIMB released a book that captures the memories of her students, colleagues, friends and family to mark the very special occasion.
Prof. Vatsala Nagarajan and Shri. Nagarajan passed away within 3 days of each other on 15 May and 11 May 2019 respectively. Many alums remember her with lots of affection. She was affectionate, kind and a motherly figure. She will be missed by hundreds of her students.