Gratitude for Supporting Her Dreams
Bartlett Tower Society member Sindhura Kodali ’08 is a pediatrician at Valley Children’s Healthcare in the Bay Area. An Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major at Dartmouth, she received a master’s in public health from Harvard and her medical degree from the University of Michigan.
How did you become aware of the opportunity to make a planned gift to Dartmouth?
One of my employment benefit forms asked who I wanted to list as my life insurance beneficiary. I hadn’t thought very much about that, and I learned that it could be a person or an organization that means a lot to me. I’m not married, don’t have children, and my parents have done their own financial planning, so the first organization that came to mind was Dartmouth.
I had a really incredible experience at Dartmouth—it’s where I found my voice as a person. The College supported me and my dreams, and it’s important to me to give back so other people can have that experience. I’m really grateful.
What’s an example of how Dartmouth supported your dreams?
Early in my sophomore year, I decided I wanted to be an Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major, with a regional focus on South Asia. That hadn’t been done before at Dartmouth. I put together a syllabus to show what that could look like, and everyone made the process easy. I’ve met people who designed their own major at other schools, and it was an immense challenge for them. I was able to plan it all out while I was studying abroad in Paris, before there was free Internet wireless access everywhere, and it was still really easy. Not only did Dartmouth make the logistics easy, over the next several years, they helped me achieve even more, supporting my senior thesis fieldwork and awarding me a fellowship after graduation to help me translate my academic work into real-life community-organizing.
What are your memories of Dartmouth faculty?
I took many seminar-style courses in anthropology, religion, and history—courses with 10 or 12 students sitting around a table in discussion with our professor. There was never a TA or somebody you had to go through to get to the professor. That’s really reflective of Dartmouth: being a college first and not a university.
Making a gift that won’t be realized for many decades requires trust. You must believe Dartmouth is going to use your money wisely when the time comes.
Not many institutions have endured for as long as Dartmouth has. The College has evolved and will continue to evolve, and I’m confident that it will continue graduating leaders who serve their community.
What would you say if one of your Dartmouth friends were to ask you, “Why should I make a planned gift to the College?”
Sometimes we alums joke that Dartmouth is the happiest place on earth. In a lot of ways, it is. I’d say if you loved your time at Dartmouth that much, then the most important thing that we alumni can do is to make sure this institution endures.