SACRAMENTO (TIP): An Indian-American couple has donated USD 4.6 million for Hindu Studies program in Berkeley, California.
The Center for Dharma Studies -will be established in the Graduate Theological Union University in the UC Berkeley campus – is the first of its kind and will be home to the largest Ph.D program in religious studies in North America.
The California based couple Dr Ajay and Mira Shingal have pledged to create an endowment fund that will create the Mira and Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies. Ajay, a resident of San Jose, has been a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with a career spanning several brand name Technology companies in the Bay Area and is currently in the hospitality industry.
Under the endowment, valued at USD 4.6 million, the Center for Dharma Studies will begin with a focus on Hindu studies and offer a Graduate Certificate MA and Ph. D in Hindu Studies.
It will welcome all traditions that self-identify themselves as a Dharma tradition, including the Jain, Buddhist and others systems of thought, derived from these ancient traditions.
“This Gift from Mira and Ajay Shingal enables the Graduate Theological Union to expand the representation of the world’s great religious traditions at this consortium and create a robust and singular place for scholars, students and the public to engage one another to build deep mutual understanding and promote the common good,” said GTU president Dr Riess Potterveld and reported by PTI.
Applauding this historic gift, Professor Shiva Bajpai, a renowned historian and President of the Dharma Civilization Foundation, observed that “Our philosophy is: The Concord, rather than the Clash, of Civilizations; The GTU is a perfect place for promoting this; We invite the Indo-American community to get engaged with this historic vision and contribute towards its fulfillment.”