It saddens me to inform you that Dr. Daljit Sarkaria of Orange, a true friend of our University, has passed away.
Dr. Sarkaria and his wife, Dr. Elaine Sarkaria – longtime acquaintances of WesternU founding board member Dr. Ethan Allen – for many years funded research on Alzheimer’s disease at WesternU, and gave $1.2 million to the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific for an endowed research position. In January 2009, they made an even larger investment of faith and pride in our University, pledging $5.1 million total to WesternU. That gift had three parts: $3 million to provide $1 million apiece to the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Dental Medicine; $2 million to secure the naming rights for the Research Center on the fourth floor of the Health Education Center; and $100,000 to create the Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship.
As I mentioned at the time, this commitment to WesternU underscored the Sarkarias’ belief that education is the key to improving the human condition, and that the work being done at WesternU is powerful and meaningful. The Sarkaria family especially wanted to encourage and foster exemplary medical research, education, and high-quality patient care through endowment of the lectureship and the inspiration offered by its speakers. I am pleased to note that their wishes in this area have been fulfilled since the first Pumerantz Lecture in 2009, by a variety of leaders from across the worlds of medicine and health care.
Dr. Sarkaria – a pathologist – was a strong proponent of osteopathic medicine, which he believed was aligned with his own holistic approach to health care. As such, he could not have been a stauncher ally or better friend and supporter to all of us here at WesternU.
He will be deeply missed as a person, a physician, and a leader in health care. But his legacy will live on in the work done by all those who learn on WesternU’s campuses, and his family’s generosity toward our University will touch the lives of patients our graduates serve for many years to come.
Please join me in saying a prayer and wishing the best for our friends the Sarkarias.
My best to you all,