$2 million gift creates Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism

Mar 5, 2015

Buddha painting in the Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka. People in Sri Lanka have practiced Theravada Buddhism for centuries.
Credit Bernard Gagnon / wikimedia commons

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan has received $2 million to establish the Thai Professorship of Theravada Buddhism.

The school says Thursday the gift will enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The holder of the endowed chair will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Thai Buddhism.

The Ann Arbor school says the gift comes from Amnuay Viravan, the former deputy prime minister, finance minister and foreign minister of Thailand, with matching support provided by the Crown Property Bureau of the Ministry of Finance of Thailand.

The chair will be housed in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.