Dr. Shailendra Palvia and Mrs. Rajkumari Palvia’s generous gift enables Georgia College & State University to establish a professorship in Jain Studies.

Georgia College & State University is delighted to announce the creation of the “S & R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professorship in Jain Studies.”

The endowed professorship will enable the Georgia College Department of Philosophy, Religion and Liberal Studies (PALS) to facilitate the infusion of Jain perspectives in courses like philosophy, religion, literature, history, and art thanks to a kind donation of $250,000 from Dr. Shailendra Palvia and Mrs. Rajkumari Palvia. By Fall 2023, GCSU intends to recruit the Endowed Professor in Jain Studies, who will instruct courses that incorporate Jain perspectives.

Dr. Eric Tenbus, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, stated the following:

“The gift to endow a professorship in Jain Studies is a wonderful opportunity for Georgia College students to further explore the many religious cultures of the world and to learn about the parallels and discrepancies between various religious traditions, all with the understanding that the world is becoming smaller and that we in higher education have an obligation to encourage our students to seek out knowledge and understanding from across the vastne That is the fundamental idea of a liberal arts education.

The ancient religion of Jainism has its roots in India. Its three main tenets are “Ahimsa,” which means nonviolence toward all living things, “Anekantwad,” which calls for respect for all points of view, and “Aparigraha,” which urges contentment with little goods. The fundamental principles of Jainism are already present in PALS’s courses: Our liberal arts dedication to accept the study of many perspectives, including domestic and global, current and historic, is founded on Anekantwad. The theory of Ahimsa, as it pertains to both human and non-human animals, is embodied in courses on animal ethics and social justice. Moreover, Aparigraha serves as the basis for courses on climate change, food ethics, and environmental ethics.

The PALS Chair, Dr. Sunita Manian, made the remark above. By using Jain ideals, the donation will allow PALS to expand upon the endowment’s commitments. This gives the study of current issues affecting people and the planet a new perspective.

The Jain Community of America has promised to donate $10,000 every year in addition to the initial gift from the Palvia family.

The Endowed Professor will manage these monies to offer professors in PALS, the greater GCSU community, and throughout the University System of Georgia opportunities for faculty development and student learning. There will be opportunities for staff and student trips to India as well as on-campus activities.

The Jain Community of America will secure an extra donation during the following three years to support the program long-term.

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