From the YSU News Room-The new building housing the Excellence Training Center on the campus of Youngstown State University is being named in honor of Dr. Chander M. Kohli, a local neurosurgeon and former chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Karen, in recognition of their $5 million in donations to the YSU “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign.

The gift total matches the largest donation in YSU’s 113-year history.

“Chander and Karen are loyal, generous supporters of the YSU community, giving of their time and talents, as well as their treasure,” YSU President Jim Tressel said. “This historic gift and the naming of the building that houses our new Excellence Training Center ensures that the Kohlis’ legacy will live forever. On behalf of everyone on campus, we give our deepest thanks.”

The new $12 million, 54,000-square-foot building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Commerce Streets on the campus’ south side will now be known as Kohli Hall.

“We strongly believe that YSU represents the Mahoning Valley’s best hope for the future, and we are honored to have our names associated with a facility that reflects the university’s visionary leadership as we enter the third decade of the 21st century,” said Kohli, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Northeast Ohio Medical university & a former member of the YSU Board of Trustees.

The gift will provide:

  • Ongoing annual support for the Excellence Training Center, including integration and upgrades of technology.
  • Purchase and maintenance of equipment.
  • Expansion, renovation, and maintenance of the building.
  • Funding for ETC program initiatives.

It also will help fund 19 Classrooms of the Future throughout campus in memory of Kohlis’ late son, Aneal Mohan Kohli. Two of the classrooms are in Kohli Hall.  “We are honored to have our son’s memory live on in these high-tech classrooms,” Mrs. Kohli said.

The YSU Excellence Training Center is the centerpiece of the Mahoning Valley region’s continued efforts to create a workforce development ecosystem to ensure skilled workers can meet the region’s growing advanced manufacturing needs, from automation, robotics, and industrial maintenance to 3-D additive manufacturing.

The $125 million “We See Tomorrow” campaign, led by the YSU Foundation, is the largest in YSU’s history. For more information, visit

A native of India, Chander Kohli graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and served more than three years in the armed forces of India as a general duty medical officer. He came to the United States in 1966. He did his rotating internship and one-year surgical residency at the Elyria Memorial Hospital, Elyria, Ohio, and served neurosurgical residencies at the University Hospital, Edmonton, Canada, and Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh. He started his own private neurosurgical practice in Youngstown in 1972. Karen Kohli practiced as a nurse for several years.

The Kohlis were named YSU Friends of the University in 2018.

Dr. Kohli has served as president of the Mahoning County Medical Society, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at NEOMED, president of the Medical Staff Clinical Executive Committee at St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center, and is the founding president of the American Association of South Asian Neurosurgeons. He also has served on the boards at Sky Bank, Humility of Mary Health Services, St. Elizabeth Foundation, and the International Institute.

Among Dr. Kohli’s many honors are; Man of the Year Award from the India Association of Greater Youngstown, 1984; Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of International Physicians, 1997; Physician Recognition Award from the Mahoning County Medical Society, 2003; Community Service Award from Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, 2005; Community Award Citation from Kenneth Blackwell, Secretary of State of Ohio, 2005; Outstanding Achievement Award from the Youngstown chapter of AAPI, 2005; President and Dean’s Award, NEOMED, 2009; and the Award of Excellence, Outreach and Commitment from the Indian Alliance of Ohio, 2010. In 2012, he also was honored by the American Cancer Society at its 6th annual Cattle Baron’s Ball. He was recognized by M.D. NEWS, in 2006, was the Keynote Speaker at the Commencement Ceremony of Avalon University 2015. He is the recipient of the “Heart of The Mission” award by Mercy Health Foundation in 2018.

News » Kohli Family donates $5 million to the YSU We See Tomorrow Campaign