New Vijay & Anand Jain Scholarship to help make a university education possible
Anand and Vijay Jain like to say that they’ve watched UTM grow up. From their living room window, the couple has had a clear sightline of the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus for more than 20 years. The ever-changing view often figured into the stories they told their children about the importance of education.
Last year, it inspired them to spread that message even more widely.
The Jains pledged $50,000 through the Vijay & Anand Jain Scholarship to recognise two UTM students per year and help make a university education possible for learners in financial need.
“Education is empowerment,” says Vijay. “Without education, we keep living in the dark and cannot find the right path to grow. Education gives us light to make a new path.”
An education, eight dollars and “two sons holding hands” were all Anand and Vijay had when they arrived in Canada from India in 1975. They settled in Montreal and Anand, an electrical engineer, launched his companies Gee Jay Group and Avnan, a global supplier of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products to North American industries. When they relocated to Mississauga in 1993, Vijay traded her teaching credentials for a diploma in accounting so she could help run the family business.
Anand says they regularly encouraged their sons—they eventually had three—to earn an education so they could “stand on their own.” All three chose engineering and the eldest, Neeraj, graduated from U of T’s Rotman School of Management. Their two younger sons, Anuj and Nitin, are now CEOs of Avnan and Gee Jay Group respectively.
Through it all, the Jains watched the UTM campus grow—and students struggle as the cost of education increased. They hope the Vijay & Anand Jain Scholarship will help to ease that burden for UTM’s brightest and most promising students, offering them the same springboard to success that education provided for their own family.
“If we can help at least one person, we can change the world,” smiles Vijay.
She and Anand will be proudly watching while it happens.