The University of Chicago, has established the Anupama and Guru Ramakrishnan Professorship in Sanskrit Studies with a $3.5 million gift from Guru and Anupama Ramakrishnan. The Chair supports a faculty member whose work focuses on the ancient classical language. Gary Tubb, professor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations and faculty director of the University’s Delhi branch, will be the first scholar to hold the new position, according to an announcement January 26th.
With this new initiative, the University already known for its strong South Asia studies department, has added a new chair to fund the study of Sanskrit. Guru Ramakrishnan, MBA’88, is a founding partner at Meru Capital Group; Anupama Ramakrishnan is on the advisory board of the Agastya Foundation, a Bangalore-based NGO that funds and operates educational programs in rural India. They also support a scholarship program for Indian students at Chicago Booth School of Business.
This year, the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies marks its 60th year at the university in 2016 and several events are planned in April. Considered the oldest literary language of South Asia, Sanskrit is also the longest continuously taught South Asian language at UChicago, offered at the University since 1892.
“Sanskrit really stands out among the world’s languages – alongside other classical languages – as being a single language that provides access to an extraordinarily broad range of texts and histories,” Tubb is quoted saying. He is the author of Scholastic Sanskrit: A Handbook for Students, and several other books.
“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,” the Ramakrishnans are quoted saying.
We are thrilled that Professor Tubb will be the first chair, especially in light of his lifelong dedication and passion for Sanskrit. Most importantly, the University of Chicago’s long-term commitment to scholarship in Sanskrit made it our institution of choice to partner with on this important initiative,” they added.