An Indian American developer and entrepreneur, along with his family, have gifted eight acres of land to Christian schools in Illinois.
The gift, provided Dec. 26, was given by Puri, a Mumbai native, to Rockford Christian Schools in Rockford, Ill., the town he immigrated to when he was 18 to attend then-Rockford College.
The value of the land is more than $2.7 million and will be used for future expansion of the schools. The plans for the land include a new elementary school, arts center, gymnasium and dormitories for international students with the dream of creating a world class campus, according to a news release.
“The enrichment of this area and education is close to my heart. I was welcomed to Rockford University and embraced by the Rockford community as an international student from India. This land will allow for future growth at Rockford Christian by establishing a site for construction of a new elementary school,” Puri, who founded the Rockford-based multifaceted real estate development firm First Midwest Group in 1983, said in a statement.
“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,” he added. “Students will be preparing themselves to be global citizens with students from all over the world right here in Rockford, Illinois … we hope to be able to attract people to a world class campus. That is the dream.”
Since founding First Midwest Group, Puri has dedicated his career to the enrichment of the community through his philanthropic efforts with a focus on education and youth.
The relationship between Rockford Christian and the Puri family goes back more than 20 years when the Puri family co-donated the 20 acres of land for the original school in 1996 and an additional two acres of land in 2002.
The Rockford community has benefited from other charitable and in-kind donations made by the Puri family.
Among some of the gifts provided by the Puri family include a $5 million donation for the construction of the Puri School of Business at Rockford University; a donation of land valued at $900,000 made to the YWCA for the Puri Family Women’s Resource Center; a land donation made to Remedies Renewing Lives for the construction of the Puri Family Shelter for domestic violence victims; a land donation totaling nearly $300,000 for the construction of the Puri Center for Research and Engagement at Rockford Lutheran Schools; a $750,000 building donation for the Sonal Puri Family Animal Rescue at the Paws Humane Society in Rockford; and a donation of a building totaling over $2 million for the construction of the new Puri Family YMCA branch in Rockford