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UW Wins Grant for Buddhist Studies Professorship

May 22, 2018

The University of Wyoming’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies will create a professorship in Buddhist studies, thanks to a grant from the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.

The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorship in Buddhist Studies will develop and teach courses and programs as part of UW’s religious studies curriculum.

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this professorship in a worldwide competition,” says Kristine T. Utterback, head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. “It speaks volumes about the vitality and determination of our faculty. The university benefits from this position because it strengthens the department’s and the university’s ability to serve undergraduate and graduate students.”

The Religious Studies Program merged with the Department of Philosophy last year, and this position creates a natural bridge between the two units, Utterback says. As the merged department develops a master’s program that can encompass both fields, Buddhist studies will form a key component.

“The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies showed great initiative in going after this very competitive professorship,” says Paula Lutz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The college is very proud of this accomplishment. It fits well with the strategic plan for the department. In addition, this new hire will strengthen the humanities division and our foundational curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences.”

The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation offers grants to institutions to establish teaching positions in Buddhist studies through an open, international competition. UW’s application was selected for an award by an international panel of scholars in Buddhist studies.

Established in 2005, the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization based in Hong Kong. It has a dual mission of fostering appreciation of Chinese arts and culture to advance global learning, and to cultivate deeper understanding of Buddhism in the context of contemporary life.


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