Dec 17, 2013

Anand Family Establishes Endowed Scholarship for Columbia State Students

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Dec. 17, 2013) - - - In memory and honor of the life he lived, the Anand family of Hohenwald has established the "Amar Kirti Anand Endowed Scholarship" and have provided the naming of the "Amar Kirti Anand Lobby" for Columbia State Community College students in a Nov. 26 dedication ceremony.

"The Anands, originally from India, came to the U.S. to provide health care, having been recruited to come to Hohenwald," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "Dr. Veena Anand and her family have a long relationship with Columbia State and desired to honor Amar's memory because they believe in helping others and giving back."

After the Anands expressed their desire to do something special in honor of Amar, the endowed scholarship was established in order to help students with financial need, studying English or who are involved with the international education program to pursue their degree.

Having had Amar as a student, it was Dr. Chaitram Talele, retired professor of economics, who brought together Columbia State and the Anand family.

"I have known the Anand family a long time, including his father, the late Dr. Veender Anand," Talele said. "Amar was a very endearing fellow who always stopped by my office to visit."

Priya Anand spoke about her brother, his generous nature, and the grief she felt with his passing. She also explained the history of his name, going on to say his first name means immortal which is to live forever, his middle name stands for fame or to be recognized, and his last name means bliss and one who was happy.

"A name is something we can speak, hear and cling to," Priya said. "I hope when students walk and sit in this space, it is part of a larger journey for them. If in the process, people see his name, I hope it sends a little wave of comfort to everyone who knew and loved him."

Words expressed by Dr. Veena Anand are engraved on the plaque in memory of her son:

"Amar was a very special young man. He had sensitivity and compassion for his fellow beings. Amar's love for writing was intense and his work reflected his innate sense of humor and respect for others. From a very young age he shared his blessings with everyone around him."

In addition to Amar's family and friends, college leadership, faculty and staff of Columbia State were in attendance for the dedication. The "Amar Kirti Anand Lobby" is in the Frank G. Clement building on the Columbia campus.

Photo caption:
Front row, left to right: Ernst and Magda de Koning, Vincent's parents and family friends; Dr. Chaitram Talele, Columbia State retired professor of economics; Dr. Veena Anand, Amar's mother; Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; and Priya Anand, Amar's sister. Back row, left to right: Roeland de Koning, Vincent's brother and family friend; Vincent de Koning, Amar's brother-in-law; and Dinesh Anand, Amar's uncle.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit