The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

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Alumnus Names Endowed Gift in Honor of Retired Jonsson School Staff Member

Alumnus Names Endowed Gift in Honor of Retired Jonsson School Staff Member

Anuroop Kanuri

Anuroop Kanuri MS'07, MBA'11

Anuroop Kanuri MS’07, MBA’11 and his wife Hari Priya Atluri MS’12 recently donated funds to support future students in honor of Kathy Gribble, retired coordinator of special programs in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, who hired Kanuri when he was a student at UT Dallas.

Kanuri joined The University of Texas at Dallas in the fall of 2005 to pursue his master’s degree in computer engineering. Like many graduate students who rely on part time work to fund their living expenses, Kanuri started working part time at a campus fast food restaurant while continuing to seek better opportunities.

“I was searching and found that Kathy had a student worker position, though it was filled when I first went to her office,” Kanuri said. “I would knock on her door every couple of weeks during the semester. Before the holiday break, she asked me to follow up via email. When I did, she told me I had the job.”

“I surround myself with people who are better than I am,” Gribble said. “Barbara Parker, an ECE program coordinator, Anuroop and I were a great team. I hired him as a student worker, but I considered him one of us. He was so mature as a student – the best ever. We worked together to establish connections with offices across campus – international student offices, faculty and students.”

Kanuri too felt that he benefited personally and professionally from working with Gribble.

“Kathy was so caring that you didn’t want to let her down,” Kanuri said. “Her support then was invaluable. She showed me the most important attribute of being a boss – that taking care of your team comes first. This lesson still guides me today in my career.”

A Kathy Gribble

Kathy Gribble

Kanuri returned to UT Dallas to complete his MBA in 2011. His wife also completed her master’s degree at UT Dallas in 2012.

Gribble maintains friendship with Kanuri and Atluri, years after the couple graduated, launched their careers and welcomed two daughters to their family. She retired from UT Dallas in 2016, after 35 years of service, and now works part time for Plano Independent School District.

“I always try to see her at least once a year,” Kanuri said. “She has hosted us at her home.”

Several years after graduation, Kanuri connected at a business event with Chris Bhatti MA’06, assistant dean for development and alumni relations at the Jonsson School. Bhatti shared with Kanuri how he had established an opportunity fund at the Jonsson School following his own professional and financial success.

“UT Dallas has given me and my family so much that I have always wanted to give back. When Chris showed me a way to do it, it was an easy decision.” Kanuri said.

Throwback

Kanuri worked for Gribble while he was a student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

When Kanuri and Atluri decided to establish an opportunity fund, Kanuri reached out to Gribble to let her know that they planned to name the fund after her. She was stunned.

“He texted me, and we went out to lunch,” she said. “He asked if it would be okay. I was just so honored and taken aback. I was very blessed to have him. He influenced me a lot too—I knew he would be very successful.”

Because the opportunity fund will benefit students, Gribble agreed to have her name on it.

“I was especially impressed that he set up the fund through the Jonsson School,” she said. “I support anything that supports students.”

Some donors of permanent, endowed gifts may wait until later to make such contributions. Kanuri and Atluri felt immense gratitude, however, and wanted to give back at a much earlier point in their careers.

“The name ‘opportunity fund’ reminded me of Kathy – she gave me my first opportunity,” Kanuri said. “She is my first mentor and so we wanted to name it ‘Kathy Gribble Opportunity Fund’. Hopefully this will help someone else as they seek their first opportunity.”

Opportunity funds are permanent, endowed gifts to specific schools at the University. They begin at $10,000 and can be extended later into full endowed scholarships. Interested in learning more about Opportunity Funds? Contact Chris Bhatti, assistant dean of development and alumni relations.


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