|July 4,2018--The University of Michigan (UM) has received a gift of 2.5 million dollars to establish the Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship of Tibetan Buddhist Studies.
The professorship, named after the Tibetan poet, philosopher, and painter Gendun Chopel (1903-1951), will reside in UM's Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
In fall 2019, the department will conduct an international search to fill the newly created professorship with a faculty member who will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism. The research will be shared with students and scholars of Buddhism around the globe, enriching knowledge and understanding of an ancient religion whose teachings continue to inspire the modern world.
Tibetan Buddhism, a tradition of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, Nepal, India, Mongolia, and other regions in China, has millions of followers around the world.
The gift, the largest dedicated to the study of Tibetan Buddhism in North America, came from Khyentse Foundation, an international nonprofit organization founded in 2001 that provides support for institutions and individuals engaged in all traditions of Buddhist study and practice.
"For centuries, Buddhist study and practice have proved to bring stability and harmony to both individuals and society," said Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, founder of Khyentse Foundation. "So in this day and age, it is more crucial than ever that such wisdom be preserved and kept alive in important institutions of learning like the University of Michigan."