Acts of Kindness Create a Philanthropist
Rattan Khosa (M.S. ’71 structural engineering) grew up in upper-middle class comfort in India, thanks to his father’s job as a civil engineer. But after earning two undergraduate degrees in science and civil engineering and graduating first in his class, Khosa had difficulty finding work. He initially faced discrimination in his hometown because of religious differences, then faced discrimination elsewhere in India because he was not from the local community.
Thus began a string of challenges that would reframe his understanding of hard work, determination, and what success truly means.
Khosa knew the United States was a better option for the career and acceptance he sought. After several years of working toward this goal, he received a structural engineering fellowship at the University of Maryland.
Due to a foreign currency exchange crisis in India at the time, Khosa arrived with less than $4 in his pocket. His first few semesters at Maryland were financially challenging, with fellow students lending Khosa money so he could afford basic necessities such as heating and food. “I lived below the poverty level,” he recalls. “But coming to UMD got me out of where I was—feeling stuck in India with few career prospects—and helped me see that I could do anything.”
Khosa credits the generosity he received with becoming the philanthropist he is today. Students gave him hand-me-downs, loaned him their cars, and taught him to cook, while faculty—particularly his adviser, former Professor Conrad Heins—offered exceptional mentorship and encouragement.
“I completely changed my attitude from ‘success is all about me’ to ‘success is about helping others succeed,’” he says. “I wouldn’t be who I am without the Clark School.”
After obtaining his master’s from Maryland, Khosa earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and founded successful post-tensioning company AMSYSCO. In 2014, he funded the Rattan L. Khosa Graduate Endowed Scholarship in Structural Engineering at the Clark School, which provides awards for graduate students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
“Education is a major catalyst to move forward for yourself, for your family, and for those around you,” says Khosa. “By becoming better through hard work and dedication, you can better the lives of other people.”
Thank you, Rattan Khosa, and all of our Dean's Circle donors!
The Dean’s Circle recognizes and celebrates those individuals who have given $100,000 or more during their lifetime to the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
To learn how you can make a charitable donation today and make a significant difference in the future of the Clark School, contact Leslie Borak, assistant dean for external relations.
Published April 30, 2018