Grad and husband give life savings to Seneca
Couple also establish student endowment award
Oct. 10, 2019
Two and a half years ago, when home prices in the Greater Toronto Area were going through the roof, Bala and Karnika Krishnan did something many people did: they sold their house.
“Everything that was put on the market sold,” said Karnika, a Seneca grad.
But it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision for the husband and wife of 47 years. As part of a larger plan they had in the works, the couple proceeded to rent a modest apartment in the same neighbourhood. And then they contacted multiple colleges to inquire about contributing an estate gift.
Seneca responded immediately. Bala and Karnika couldn’t be happier. After working with the Advancement team, they recently made a commitment to leave their entire estate to Seneca in their will. This future intention was followed by a generous donation to establish an endowment award for students.
“Seneca is pretty close to our hearts. I can’t say enough about how excited we are to be able to help some students,” Bala said. “We knew we wanted to give money to schools that train immigrants. We are both immigrants.”
Bala and Karnika each came to Canada in their 20s, coincidentally, in the same month and same year: April 1969. He’s from India, she from Kenya. The two met in Toronto.
During those early years as a new immigrant, Karnika worked at a daycare while taking night courses at Seneca over a period of five years, receiving a supervisory skills certificate in the end. She eventually went on to become a daycare supervisor.
“I didn’t just want to upgrade my skills, I wanted to be Canadianized,” she recalled about her decision to study at Seneca.
Bala, a licensed chemical engineer who worked in the computer software industry, also came to Seneca when he wanted to upgrade his skills. Even though he didn’t end up finishing the robotics course he signed up for, “That’s my dotted-line connection to Seneca,” he said.
“We both believe in education. My parents have always said education is something no one can take away from you. Education is the only way to go.”
Following retirement in their mid-50s, Karnika continued working part time for another 15 years while Bala explored other opportunities, including teaching English at a university in Thailand for a year.
With no children of their own, the couple, now in their 70s, are happy to know that their life savings will be put to good use at Seneca.
“We both believe in education,” Karnika said. “My parents have always said education is something no one can take away from you. Education is the only way to go.”