SFU receives $500,000 pledge from Hari and Madhu Varshney to host leading Indian scholars
SIMON Fraser University has received a $500,000 pledge from Hari and Madhu Varshney to bring world-class Indian scholars to Vancouver. The Hari and Madhu Varshney Visiting Scholars Program in Indian Studies will enable SFU students to learn from leading Indian academics, who will also share their knowledge of India with the broader community.
“This wonderful gift will strengthen SFU’s commitment to engage the world,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “Thanks to the Varshneys’ generosity, these scholars will enrich our educational and research environment, while deepening understanding of India’s rich culture and heritage amongst the communities we serve.”
In 2014, SFU established a visiting scholars program with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)—the first Canadian university in Western Canada to host ICCR scholars. The Hari and Madhu Varshney Endowment will augment this program and ensure its continuance, with the first scholar expected in spring 2017.
“Madhu and I believe that learning never ends and education never gets wasted,” said Hari Varshney. “We have made this contribution so the knowledge of visiting Indian scholars will enrich the studies of SFU students and benefit the community. Madhu is a Katthak classical dancer and poet who has published 10 books. The learnings from Vedas and Vedic scriptures are also close to our hearts.”
ICCR scholars, ranging from experts in Indian arts, history, culture and Vedas and Vedic scriptures and knowledge, will be resident at SFU for one or two semesters.
The pledge was announced at SFU’s 9th annual Diwali Gala on Tuesday, October 18. The gala honoured the SFU-India Advisory Council. Hari Varshney was an original member of the council when it was established in 2006.
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