$3.5m donation secures future of Tibetan Buddhist studies in Australia

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche visiting the University of Sydney, during the inauguration of the KF-UBEF conference, August 11, 2017. Credit: Khyentse Foundation.

Dr. Rheingans joined the University in 2017 as a Lecturer for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, a position co-funded by the Khyentse Foundation, the University Foundation for Buddhist Education and the Aberbaldie Foundation over the past five years.

The $3.5 million donation from the Khyentse Foundation (KF) provides the means to sustain academic staff in Tibetan Buddhist studies in the future. The Khyentse Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to support all traditions of Buddhist study and practice.

“The Khyentse Foundation has invested heavily in endowing Buddhist chairs and professors over the past 15 years at universities such as University of California, Berkeley (USA), University of Michigan (USA) , the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany) and the Hebrew University, University of Jerusalem (Israel).And now, the Khyentse Macready Initiative at the University of Sydney is extending this investment in universities to the southern hemisphere” , said Cangioli Che, executive director of the Khyentse Foundation.

“With these permanent faculty positions, KF hopes to strengthen the long-term position of Buddhist studies in academia by building a sustainable global infrastructure in these outstanding institutions. I am especially pleased that we have offered our Lynne Macready Education Fund to support this position in Lynne’s homeland. I think Lynne would be happy with the investment. ”

Dr. Mark Allon, president and senior lecturer in South Asian Buddhist studies, said Buddhist studies, particularly Indian Buddhism, which is my own expertise, already has a long and respected tradition at the university, while expertise in East Asian Buddhism, particularly Chinese Buddhism, is provided by our colleague Dr Chiew Hui Ho. Tibetan Buddhist studies are key to building on this strength. This significant donation follows more than a decade of commitment, relationship building and philanthropy by the Khyentse Foundation, enabling us to become the most successful program of Buddhist studies in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to Professor Yixu Lu, Director of the School of Languages ​​and Cultures, “Our school is proud to have advanced the study of languages, literatures and cultures. Thanks to the Khyentse Foundation, we are now able to continue to offer Tibetan language and culture, first introduced in 2017, to students at the University of Sydney for decades to come. I am confident that we will continue to advance teaching and research on Asian Buddhism and its impact on societies, cultures and philosophy.

“This funding makes possible our ambition for Tibetan Buddhist studies at the University to have an international reputation, for the benefit of the academic community, the Tibetan community and the many people around the world who are fascinated to learn more about the origins and lessons of Tibetan Buddhism.

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