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article imageUniversity of Chicago sets up $3.5 million Sanskrit professorship

By Sravanth Verma     Feb 26, 2016 in Entertainment
Chicago - The University of Chicago has set up a Sanskrit studies professorship with $3.5 million U.S. donated by Guru and Anupama Ramakrishnan.
The Indian-American couple made the donation to support faculty working in the field of Sanskrit and Indian studies. “The University of Chicago is world renowned for its excellence in the scholarship of South Asia. Guru and Anupama Ramakrishnan’s generosity allows us to sustain that tradition and makes possible continued rigorous study of the cultural heritage of South Asia through its literary, religious and philosophical texts,” said Humanities dean Martha T Roth.
The university is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the sixtieth anniversary of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies this year. Sanskrit, the classical language in which most of India's scriptures were written is still alive today, chanted by millions of Indians as part of mantras and hymns, and still taught in traditional Indian schools called patashalas. The University of Chicago has also offered Sanskrit as a course since 1892.
The Ramakrishnans said in a statement, “We are delighted to fund this chair in Sanskrit – one of the oldest languages that has given the world the Vedas, Upanishads and other exceptional works of spirituality, poetry, music and dance.”
Gary Tubb, professor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations and faculty director of the University of Chicago Centre in Delhi, will be the first faculty member to be supported by the Ramakrishnan Professorship. Professor Tubb is the author of Scholastic Sanskrit: A Handbook for Students. He is an editor and primary contributor in the book Innovations and Turning Points: Toward a History of Kavya Literature, published by Oxford University Press. His next book, On Poets and Pots: Essays on Sanskrit Poetry, Poetics and Philosophy, will soon be published by Oxford University Press.
The Ramakrishnan's donation is part of a larger effort by the university to communicate and interact with 125,000 of its alumni, and raise 4.5 billion USD for research by 2019. The university has currently contact 59,000 alumni and raised $2.82 billion.
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