Georgia College & State University establishes professorship in Jain Studies with Shailendra Palvia and Rajkumari Palvia’s gift
Thanks to a generous gift of $250,000 from an Indian American couple, Dr Shailendra Palvia and Rajkumari Palvia, Georgia College & State University (GCSU) is establishing a professorship in Jain Studies by Fall 2023.
Philosophy Religion & Liberal Studies (PALS) Department of GCSU announced the establishment of the “S & R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professorship in Jain Studies” on Jan 31.
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The endowed professorship will allow PALS to facilitate the infusion of Jain perspectives in courses like philosophy, religion, literature, history and art. GCSU plans to hire the Endowed Professor in Jain Studies — who will teach courses incorporating Jain perspectives — by Fall 2023, it said.
“The gift to endow a professorship in Jain Studies is a wonderful opportunity for Georgia College students to further explore the diverse religious cultures of the wider world and to learn about the similarities and differences between various religious traditions, all with the understanding that the world is becoming a smaller place and that we in higher education have an obligation to encourage our students to seek out knowledge and understanding from across the vastness of human civilization. That is at the core of a liberal arts education,” said Dr. Eric Tenbus, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jainism is an ancient religion, originating in India. Its three core pillars are “Ahimsa,” meaning non-violence towards all living beings; “Anekantwad,” invoking respect for all perspectives on any issue; and “Aparigraha,” seeking satisfaction with limited possessions, the release noted.
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“PALS already embodies the core tenets of Jainism in its courses: Anekantwad is the basis of our liberal arts commitment to embrace the study of various perspectives: domestic and global, contemporary and historic. Courses in Animal Ethics and Social Justice embody the philosophy of Ahimsa, as it applies to human and non-human animals. And Aparigraha is the foundation of courses in Environmental Ethics, Food Ethics and Climate Change,” said Dr. Sunita Manian, Chair of PALS.
The gift will enable PALS to build on the commitments of this endowment through the application of Jain principles. This adds a new dimension to the study of contemporary challenges facing humanity and the world, the release said.
Read: Palvia’s generous gift helps establish a professorship in Jain Studies at GCSU (February 2, 2023)
The initial gift from the Palvia family is complemented by the commitment of an annual gift of $10,000 from the Jain Community of America.
The Endowed Professor will administer these funds to provide faculty development and student learning opportunities to faculty in PALS, the larger GCSU community and across the University System of Georgia. Opportunities will include on campus events, as well as faculty and student travel to India, the release said.
In the next 3 years, the Jain Community of America will raise an additional gift to permanently fund the program.