“This was a great opportunity. I never thought that I would have a photography exhibition here,” said Rao, who began the Desi Scholarship Fund in December of 2014. “It was great—terrific, really— because I’ve had this hobby for a long time and for it to go for this nice cause was even better.”

Rao, who is a business professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, got the idea after an alumnae photography exhibition in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library and approached Jeff Janko for help.

“[Rao] actually came up to me one night in the parking lot after an exhibition and he said ‘How could I have a show in the library?’” Janko said, a library information specialist at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. “I went over and he had about six hanging in his office and I thought, ‘these are really good.’ We then picked out about 30 for the exhibit, only about 20 of which were actually displayed.”



The Desi Foundation raised a total of $9,000. This will provide nine $1,000 scholarships to students in the Coastal Bend area. Four of the scholarships will go to students studying at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. 


   Photo Courtesy of Mohan Rao

Although not many prints were sold, Rao considers this a major stepping-stone for the Desi Foundation Scholarship.

Rao has high hopes that the Desi Foundation Scholarship will continue to grow and reach more students in financial need.

“I just started this so we don’t have any big bureaucracies because whatever donors donate, all of that money goes to the scholarships. There are no administrative costs or anything like that,” Rao said. “There are some nonprofit organizations that support scholarships to manage in terms of communicating with donors and different universities to set up scholarships. It’s time consuming.”

Now that the Desi Foundation Scholarship is beginning to take off, Rao is planning to begin to start advertising in order to acquire more scholarship donors.

“I’m hesitant to advertise because somebody may want to call and find out more about the scholarship. I’m busy with my work here,” Rao said. “So I’m wondering how to handle that. My daughter who lives in San Antonio offered to help out and answer phone calls from potential donors and students as well.”

This is the second year for the Desi Foundation Scholarship. In the scholarship’s inaugural year only one scholarship was able to be given out.

The “Europe Through My Lens” exhibit was available for viewing from Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, through Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 in the downstairs atrium of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. Images of Rao’s digital photography prints from the “Europe Through My Lens” collection can be found online at www.flickr.com/photos/drrao/sets/72157659875986961.

For more information on the canvas print exhibit, contact Janko at 361-825- 2588 or email jeff.janko@tamucc.edu, or Rao at 361-825-2458 or email mohan.rao@tamucc.edu.

Also for information on the Desi Foundation or to become a donor, please visit www.desischolarshipfund.org or email Rao at mohanrao@tamucc.edu