Indian American philanthropist Sunil Puri donates 8-acre land to Illinois school

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Sunil Puri
Sunil Puri (right). with Randy Taylor, the Superintendent of Rockford Christian Schools, after gifting the land. Photo credit: First Midwest Group

 

Prominent Indian American philanthropist Sunil Puri has donated 8 acres of land to Rockford Christian Schools in Rockford, IL, valued at $2.7 million.

The Puri family officially handed over the land on December 26, according to a press release from First Midwest Group, the real estate development, private equity, and investment firm founded by the Mumbai-born real estate developer and entrepreneur.

The land will be used for future expansion of the schools, which include building a new elementary school, arts center, gymnasium, and dormitories for international students with the dream of creating a world class campus, the release said.

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“The enrichment of this area and education is close to my heart,” said Puri, who came to Rockford as an 18-year-old to attend the then-Rockford College (now Rockford University) in 1983.

“I was welcomed to Rockford University and embraced by the Rockford community as an international student from India,” he said. “This land will allow for future growth at Rockford Christian by establishing a site for construction of a new elementary school. We are excited to see that the school will be building residence halls for national and international students, a new center for the arts, and an indoor recreation and fitness facility.”

Puri added that his dream is “to be able to attract people to a world class campus” where students “will be preparing themselves to be global citizens with students from all over the world right here in Rockford, Illinois.”

This is not the first gift from the Puri family to Rockford Christian. In 1996, the family co-donated the 20 acres of land for the original school and six years later it gifted an additional 2 acres of land.

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The Indian American donated $5 million for the construction of the Puri School of Business at Rockford University, the first named school at the university.

Over the years, the Puris have supported a number of major institutions in the community, with a special focus on education and youth.

Another major beneficiary of the Puri family’s largesse is the Rockford YMCA, to which the Puris donated $2 million for the construction a new building. They also contributed land valued at $900,000 for the construction of the Puri Family Women’s Resource Center at the local YWCA.

Other local organizations and institutions they have supported include the Remedies Renewing Lives, which houses the Puri Family Shelter for domestic violence victims; Rockford Lutheran Schools, which received land donation worth nearly $300,000 for the construction of the Puri Center for Research and Engagement; the Paws Humane Society in Rockford, which received $750,000 for building the Sonal Puri Family Animal Rescue.