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2008.04.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

Students Travel From India for Buffett's Annual Event

Omaha - Students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) sister university, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur, will travel to Omaha and New York City from May 1-12 to participate in Warren Buffett’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders event, attend educational workshops at UNO and visit local firms.

This is the third year of an exchange program between UNO and Indian students. Vinod Gupta, founder of infoUSA, has sponsored each group’s trip across the world for the past three years. Gupta, an IIT alumnus, started the Vinod Gupta School of Management at his alma mater in 1993.

“International travel is getting more and more important in today’s flat world. I am glad this exchange program has been so successful and that both Indian and American students are getting the opportunity to learn about each other’s culture, heritage and business practices,” said Rakesh Gupta, President, Enterprise Group, infoUSA, who is also an IIT alumni and no relation to Vin Gupta.

The exchange program began in 2006 with students from IIT coming to Omaha. The following year a group of about 40 UNO/UNL students, faculty and staff went to India for two weeks. They visited businesses, schools and cultural sites across India.

“My experience in India was extraordinary. IIT and infoUSA provided us with a wealth of interesting, diverse experiences. Because of the trip, I have become more aware of my place in the world and my role as a global citizen,” said Logan Dumaine, a UNO student who went on the trip to India.

Now the IIT students are back in Omaha and ready for another exciting visit.

In addition to attending the Berkshire annual meeting, the visiting students will tour local businesses including infoUSA, Gallup and Union Pacific. They will attend educational workshops on a diverse set of areas including one conducted by local entrepreneur and investment guru, Ronald Manarin, CEO of Manarin Investment Council. On the cultural side of things, the students will attend an Omaha Royals game, see the Henry Doorly Zoo and shop in the Old Market. Their visit will end in New York City, where the students will be part of closing bell activities in the NASDAQ and visit with Ajit Jain, President of Berkshire’s Reinsurance Division.

IIT has seven campuses spread around India and offer undergraduate degrees in engineering and technology, and graduate programs in engineering, technology, management, and intellectual property development. CBS' highly-regarded 60 Minutes in a story about IITs told its more than 10 million viewers that “Put Harvard, MIT and Princeton together, and you begin to get an idea of the status of IIT in India.” Alumni from the school can be found in positions all across the United States, including Deepak Khazanchi, who is professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Information Science and Technology at UNO.

“Thanks to a generous donation from Vin, over the past few years we have been able to expose nearly 100 students from IIT and UNO to the business practices, rich culture and history of the two largest democracies in the world – the U.S. and India,” Khazanchi said. “I believe the destinies of the people of these two nations are closely intertwined, and this exchange of students and faculty has made a lasting impact on the lives of the students involved. We welcome another group of IIT students to Omaha and the U.S.”

For more information, contact Deepak Khazanchi, College of Information Science & Technology, at (402) 554-3770 or khazanchi@mail.unomaha.edu; or Anna Brunt, International Studies & Programs, at (402) 276-3556 or abrunt@mail.unomaha.edu.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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