During their 50 years of marriage, Sita and Bhaskara Rao Mutyala shared an affinity for helping others. That philanthropic spirit included establishing a high school in their home country of India, as well as creating scholarships in their villages.
The Mutyalas would go on to support the University of Houston in their adopted hometown, endowing a Tier One Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to the top incoming freshman.
To honor Bhaskara Rao following his death in 2017, Sita and her children, Sireesha and Subhakar, continued to share his passion for education. They created the Sita and Bhaskara Rao Mutyala Professorship Endowment in India Studies in UH’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the first endowed professorship in India Studies at the University.
“Being an alumna of the University of Houston (EMBA, 1996), I have always admired the excellent educational opportunities the university provides to learners in our city, state and from around the world,” Sita said. “My husband and I called Houston home for almost 40 years and as we wanted to support education, which is my family’s passion, the University of Houston was a clear choice for our philanthropy.
“To that end, we established an India Studies professorship and a professorship in the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. First, I hope that the India Studies professorship facilitates more awareness and exposure about the culture and history of India, our birth country. Second, since I lost my husband to cancer, I feel strongly about supporting medical education and innovation. I am proud to support efforts in research, scholarship and community programs in the areas of cancer prevention, palliative care, addressing the needs of the underserved and better understanding cultural factors in patient care.
“I thank the University of Houston for its commitment to excellence, and my family and I are proud to support these important educational opportunities.”