The Yashpal and Urmilesh Arya India Studies Library was dedicated at Stony Brook University. The library is located in theBishembarnath and Sheela Mattoo Center for India Studies. Its naming recognizes the gift of $250,000 by Drs. Yashpal andUrmilesh Arya to the Center’s endowment campaign, which has been matched by the Simons Match Fund. The Aryas’ donation will allow for the expansion of the library’s services and initiatives, including special collections and online courses, to make the library’s resources more widely available.
The dedication ceremony drew a large gathering of Stony Brook faculty, staff, students and administrators, and members of the Indian American community. Dr. Yashpal Arya, flanked by Dr. Urmilesh Arya, described the library’s dedication as “one of the happiest days of our lives.” He told the audience of his family’s history of philanthropy, both in India and in the United States. “I am proud to stand here today to continue this family tradition of perpetuating further education with the help of Stony Brook University through its forward thinking, visionary policy making, and the Mattoo Center for India Studies for its strong resolve and relentless pursuit that led to the creation of this library.” Dr. Arya thanked the Stony Brook administration for their “enlightened support” for the Center. He also thanked Professors S.N. and Kamal K. Sridhar, whom he described as the Center’s “Pitamaha” and “Matamaha” (grandparents).
“You make your living by earning. You make your life by giving,” Dr. Arya told the audience.
Dr. Nirmal K. Mattoo, Chair of the Center’s executive committee, praised the Aryas for their involvement “in philanthropy on a large scale.” He noted their long-time “commitment to the Center’s vision.”
Dean Sacha Kopp dedicated the library, and thanked attendees for their “participation in the decades-long effort to create the Center for India Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.” “A public university” Dean Kopp explained, “has the responsibility not only to serve the public through education but to give back to the public in the form of knowledge and sharing and fostering community and culture.” A library is a “gathering of community” and the “lifeblood” of a campus. “As I reflect on ‘community,’ I see it here today.”
Professor S.N. Sridhar, founding Director of the Mattoo Center, described the vital functions of the India Studies library. It features a collection of more than 13,000 works, including major reference works, such as the Critical Edition of theMahabharata and the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, and special collections on Indian languages donated by noted research scholars. The library’s resources are used by Stony Brook students, faculty, and visiting scholars and researchers from around the world. The Mattoo Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a Gala on October 29th at Leonard’s in Great Neck.