The Vanguri Foundation of America Program Endowment in Telugu Studies

Jan 15, 2016 | Excellence Funds & Program Support

The Vanguri Foundation of America Program Endowment in Telugu Studies was established by the UT System Board of Regents in 2016 to benefit the College of Liberal Arts. The endowment funds were provided by the Vanguri Foundation of America, Inc. and supported by Dr. Raju Vanguri and a group of donors, whose names are listed below.

The Vanguri Foundation of America, Inc. was established as a Texas non-profit corporation in 1994 to promote the Indian language of Telugu as well as creative writing, music, and performing arts using Telugu. This language is spoken by more than 100 million people, primarily in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Vanguri Foundation of America, Inc.
The origins of the language date to 500 B.C., and it has a literary history of more than 1,000 years. It is the second-most used language in India and the 15th most spoken language in the world. Telugu-speaking immigrants are found in all parts of the world, including an estimated 200,000 in North America.

Since 1994, as a part of its efforts to preserve and promote Telugu language and literature, the Vanguri Foundation of America, Inc. has conducted the following activities:

  • Annual worldwide creative writing contests. As of 2016, VFA conducted 21 writing contests and awarded prizes in short story, poetry, novel and literary essay categories.
  • Bi-annual Telugu Literary Symposiums of North America since 1998 in various parts of the United States including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, Houston, California, and Indianapolis.
  • Bi-annual International Telugu Literary Symposiums in various countries since 2006. Conventions have been held in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Conducts International Women Writer’s Conferences and National Young Writer’s Literary Conventions on a regular basis.
  • Published 61 Telugu books, most of which are written by U.S.-based Telugu writers.
  • Conducts monthly literary meetings to offer a forum for Telugu writers to meet, exchange ideas, and present their work.

The Vanguri Foundation of America, Inc. has a deep commitment to support Telugu Studies at UT Austin to teach Telugu to successive generations. The endowment fund was set up to meet this immediate objective, and VFA plans to enhance the support to expand the activities to research in Telugu language studies and degree programs at UT Austin.

Vanguri Chitten Raju
VFA was founded by Vanguri Chitten Raju from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. After graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the College of Engineering, Kakinada received his master’s and Ph.D. from the Institute of Technology, Mumbai in 1974 and immigrated to the United States. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Houston, as an R&D lead engineer for six years at a private company, and became an entrepreneur in 1982 by establishing Pantex, Inc., which manufactures valve automation and custom engineered control systems for a variety of industries worldwide. Dr. Vanguri is passionate about the Telugu language, and he has received several awards as a reputable writer of humorous short stories and stage plays.

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