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USA Madonna Receives Multi-million Dollar Gift From Sikh


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Members of the Madonna University community had more than a million reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving, thanks to the generosity of area philanthropist Deepinder Uppal.

A professor of English and communication at Southwestern Michigan College with an upbringing in Sikhism and a childhood spanning the globe, Uppal was first enlisted to mentor Dean Adkins, director of major gifts and gift planning at Livonia's Madonna University, in order for Adkins to better understand the growing Sikh presence in Southeast Michigan philanthropy. A frequent visitor to campus, Uppal became strongly acquainted with Madonna values and the serendipitous possibilities in philanthropy at Madonna University.

“When I heard Dean talk about how there were specific planned giving instruments that could not only help me solve some financial issues in my life right now but also could simultaneously create an irrevocable planned gift to do good, to further Madonna's vision, I was all for it,” Uppal said. “These types of charitable solutions had never been presented to me before.” After discussing various options with Adkins, Uppal recently recorded a multi-million dollar intention with the University in the form of a deferred gift.

Uppal teaches and believes that religion should be a unifying concept, not a point of division. Founded in Punjab in the 15th century, Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that, today, ranks as the fifth largest religion in the world, with some 20 million followers.

“This is an opportunity to promote a dialogue between two religions,” Uppal said. “I feel I am doing my part to live out the sentiments one may find in Wand Kay Shako,” the teaching of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev that one should share one's wealth with others in the community to profoundly inspire and support society.

Sister Rose Marie Kujawa, Madonna president, was impressed with Uppal's respect for the Sikh faith and for his vast understanding of the important significance religion holds in people's lives and communities. He will present a free guest lecture on Sikhism Feb. 7 as part of the University's Diversity Week events that are open to the public.

“His respect for ecumenism seems to be deeply linked to his appreciation for peace and its value in the development of the human race,” she said. “He reflected a strong thirst for knowledge of the eternal mysteries, which I found inspiring. We at Madonna University are fortunate to call Deep a friend. He holds so many values which are consistent with our own.”




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