Shashank and Medha Karve strive to encourage upward social mobility through education and hard work. Their transformative 2011 gift to MIT D-Lab, which develops practical solutions to global poverty challenges, played a leading role in creating a larger, permanent space for the program in Building N51. Now the couple has founded an endowed scholarship to help MIT students build their own futures.
Back to MIT. After completing his ocean engineering degree, Shashank spent his career as a leader in floating offshore oil production systems. The couple reentered the MIT sphere when their daughter, Jusleen Karve ’08, began her undergraduate studies. “We saw just how amazing the rigor and creativity of MIT’s curriculum can be for the right student,” says Medha. Shashank adds, “When it came time to consider where we wanted to direct our philanthropy, we could see that MIT would use the funds in the way that is most effective, relevant, and impactful to society.”
Global education. The Karves, who are both originally from India, began supporting D-Lab because it treats education and problem solving as vital components of social mobility. With their scholarship giving, they aim to help talented students find their MIT home regardless of financial circumstances. “MIT brings out a special quality in its students that is nearly impossible to replicate,” says Shashank. “It’s a combination of problem-solving skills and the art of prioritizing what is most important. The way MIT continues to maintain that excellence is a testament to that quality.”