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Uni of Silicon Andhra: Inaugural class graduation ceremony
- Srivani Vokkarane

February 3, 2019

It was a dream come true moment for several passionate dancers who migrated to the United States and successfully graduated from the University of Silicon Andhra. I consider myself fortunate and truly blessed to be one amongst the inaugural batch graduates. Born and brought up in Bangalore, practicing Kuchipudi has always given me a sense of immense pleasure. I was keen on pursuing academic activities related to Kuchipudi dance but there was no university that offered any academic courses in Kuchipudi. Being in the faraway land, my mind was constantly missing the lack of opportunity that I could not undertake and I almost felt that my doors were closed. With the advent of program announcement, I felt that it was a dream come true moment in my life to get back to what I had missed over the years. A passion that almost diminished was made alive through the vision of the University of Silicon Andhra.

It is a pioneer institute in the United States to offer programs in the field of Indian fine arts. Led by a visionary, Anand Kuchibotla teamed up with diligent academic council and esteemed faculty contributed to the success of the first convocation held on Jan 27, 2019 at Campbell Heritage Theatre, Campbell, California.

The inaugural batch graduation ceremony was a historic celebration held in the vicinity of Silicon Valley, California. There were twelve masters, twelve diploma, one certificate from the Kuchipudi department and one master, two diploma, and three certificates from the Department of Carnatic Music degrees conferred upon passionate students who are the cultural ambassadors of this art form. The ceremony was synonymous with any American school.

The Convocation began with a grand academic procession followed by the traditional Indian Vedic chant and United States National Anthem. A warm welcome greeting by president Anand Kuchibotla and chairman Dr. Hanimireddy Lakireddy was heartening. A motivational speech by Dr. Prasad Kaipa was the highlight of the event. Reflecting upon his journey, he explained that 'essence' is how he rediscovered his roots. The conferring of degrees was presented by Anand Kuchibotla and the presentation of graduates by provost Raju Chamarthi. The convocation ended with the closing remarks by Deenababu Kondubhatla.

More details of the programs offered by University of Silicon Andhra can be found at

Srivani Vokkarane is trained in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She trains students in Kuchipudi with focus on both theoretical and practical aspects. She has completed her masters in Kuchipudi dance from University of Silicon Andhra.