California State University, Fresnohas announced setting up an endowed chair in Hindu and Jain dharma to make it an integral part of its religious studies programme.
More than two dozen Indin-American families have worked towards the creation of a joint endowed chair in Jainism and Hinduism at the US university. The same will be a part of the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Humanities.
An expert in both Jainism and Hinduism, who is also a professor, will be appointed as interim chair in 2021.
A media release said that this partnership between the California State University, Fresno and Jain and Hindu communities will emphasise on education current and future students about the principles of justice, nonviolence, pluralist philosophy, dharma, the interrelation between all beings and caring for the environment through Hind-Jain philosophies, traditions and texts.
Joseph I. Castro, President of CSU Fresno said that the university has not seen a partnership like this. He also appreciated that this has been done at Fresno state, which would hopefully serve as a model for other CSU campuses and also around the US.
Jaswant Modi, of Los Angeles, a Jain philanthropist and supporter of this chair, said that this would expose the younger generation to this philosophy, which was advocated by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King among others.
Saul Jimenez-Sandoval, vice president for Academic Affairs and Fresno State provost also said that the chair will teach Hindu and Jain dharma, furthering the efforts of Fresno states in the promotion of different religions and communities.
In addition, the endowed chair will also offer scholarships, research funds and stipends to students. The funds may also be used to support academic publications, campus-sponsored events, conference travel and research.