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Valparaiso, Indiana, Aug 25, 2008
Raj.Mago, Chicago

Dr. Surjit Singh Patheja M.D., a philanthropist and a past chairman (1995-96) of the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) was recently conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, Indiana. A luncheon reception for Dr. Patheja, his family, friends and the dignitaries was also organized by the university prior to the ceremony. While honoring Dr. Patheja with the degree at the annual Valparaiso University graduation ceremonies, the university president Dr. Alan F. Harre remarked, “Dr. Surjit Patheja has helped improve the quality of life for countless people throughout the world, both because of his skills as a medical doctor and his dedication as a philanthropist and humanitarian.”

Educated in Burma where Dr. Patheja received his medical degree he maintained a family practice there for several years before emigrating to the United States in 1964 where he received specialty training in radiology. He served medical internships and residencies in the U.S. and earned certification in radiology and nuclear medicine from the American Board of Medical Specialties. He moved to Valparaiso in 1971 and began a successful practice in radiology.

For more than 30 years he held a variety of administrative and management roles at the Valparaiso hospital campus of Porter and also served other hospitals in Northwest Indiana. He served terms as director of the Department of Radiology and chief of staff at Porter. He is a past president of the Porter County Medical Society, the Indiana Medical Association of Northwest Indiana and the 10th District Medical Society.

Dr. Patheja has been active in numerous local, regional and international projects to promote international understanding. He is a past president of the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago and has been active in the Sikh Religious Society of Indiana. Dr. Patheja is a regular sponsor of student scholarships at Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago’s annual “PCS Graduation Night.” He chaired the World Community Service Committee of the Valparaiso Rotary Club, has supported projects to provide artificial limbs, wheelchairs and computer-aided devices for persons with disabilities in India, Bangladesh and Romania, as well as projects to provide water to residents of the Philippines, dental chairs to citizens of British Guyana and funds for orphans in Hungary.

His commitment to the understanding of other cultures and to world peace is evident in his creation of the endowed chair in world religions and ethics at Valparaiso University. The Surjit Singh Patheja, M.D., chair in world religions and ethics at Valparaiso University is a tool in educating the campus and larger communities of the common core of ethical teachings that lie at the heart of world religions.

Valparaiso University, an International Lutheran University founded in 1859, is an independent coeducational institution of higher education with historic ties to the Lutheran Church. The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, healthy life style, sports, education and good citizenship, in the metropolitan Chicago area. For further information please contact: PUNJABI CULTURAL SOCIETY of CHICAGO , P.O. Box 1244 , Palatine , IL 60078