Skip to main content
Start of main content.

Kannan pays it forward for Bond's first Giving Day

Kannan Solayappan and his wife Vallikannu. Mr Solayappan received a financial grant from Bond University in the 1990s that allowed him to graduate and forge a successful career. PHOTO: Supplied

BOND University will hold its first Giving Day on May 19 and Kannan Solayappan is one of the first donors, repaying a decades-old gift of kindness that set him on a path to becoming a successful software consultant to blue chip companies in the US.

Mr Solayappan, originally from Chennai in Southern India, attended Bond University from 1990-92.

He received a 25 per cent scholarship to study a Master’s Degree in Computing Science, taking out a bank loan and relying on help from his family to cover some of the remaining fees.

“I had to bring in the rest of the money so I did odd jobs to support myself,” he recalled from his home in Minnesota.

“I even took two semesters off and went to Sydney looking for a job, working as a dishwasher, kitchenhand and a market research interviewer.

“But the Australian economy was in a bad shape then and my best efforts were not adequate to pay all my outstanding tuition fees.”

It was the midst of the early 1990s Australian recession with unemployment at 11 per cent -- the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As a last resort, Mr Solayappan reached out to then-Registrar of the University, Alan Finch, for help.

Mr Finch generously waived the $4260 in outstanding fees as a Grant of Financial Aid, allowing Mr Solayappan to graduate.

“The financial grant was an invaluable help at a moment of great personal need to me,” Mr Solayappan said.

“I am thankful to both the University and Alan Finch for their assistance.”

Mr Solayappan repaid the grant last month and the money will be used to support other students in financial hardship.

“I thought it is only proper for me to return the financial aid that was given to me in full. My only regret is not having returned the money earlier.”

After graduating, Mr Solayappan moved to the US, married, and worked as a consultant at Wells Fargo, 3M, American Express, the Mayo Clinic and IBM.

He is the author of the book "Modernity, Civilizations and the Truth" about the interaction between politics, religion, history and philosophy and is a designated speaker in the Foreign Policy Institute's Great Decision Program in Minnesota.

Alan Finch retired as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students and Support Services) in 2019 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his decades of service to the University and its students.

Bond University’s first Giving Day will raise funds for the Ambition Appeal to help disadvantaged students, provide scholarships and assist Bond to continue to deliver its unique student experience.

To contribute go to

More from Bond

  • Bull Sharks out to tame the Tigers

    The Bull Sharks have announced their 2023 captains as rugby returns to The Canal for the first time this year.

    Read article
  • International students join soccer goal rush

    Bond's soccer club have scored 49 times in three games as international students join the goal rush.

    Read article
  • Sapphires and Rubies glitter at Netball season launch

    The excitement was building at the Bull Sharks' season launch ahead of their return to the Sapphire Series

    Read article
  • Trouble brewing on geographical beer names

    Australian craft beer breweries could be caught up in a push by European brewers to protect the names of beer styles in the same way French winemakers jealously guard Champagne and Bordeaux.

    Read article
  • $1m to study diabetes patients left to their own devices

    A Bond University researcher has received more than $1 million to determine if wearable devices can help type 2 diabetes patients better manage their condition.

    Read article
Previous Next