Guru Nanak Heritage Fund for Sikh and Punjabi Studies

UCSC receives $247,000 gift to support Sikh and Punjabi Studies program

January 05, 2012


Bhupinder S. Dhillon signs the Letter of Gift establishing the Guru Nanak Heritage Fund for UC Santa Cruz's Humanities Division
UCSC Humanites Dean William Ladusaw
(Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

The Guru Nanak Heritage Fund for Sikh and Punjabi Studies --a gift from the Bay Area Sikh and Punjabi Community--will focus on academic research in Sikh culture and faith, Sikhs in North America, and the Punjabi cultural heritage and language.

“We are very grateful for the generous support of the Bay Area Sikh Community for this gift, which will enable us to add Punjabi language classes to our fledgling program in Sikh and Punjabi Studies,” said UCSC humanities dean William Ladusaw.

This past fall quarter, UCSC launched the campus’ first course in its growing Sikh and Punjabi Studies program, Introduction to the Sikhs , taught by economics professor Nirvikar Singh—who was recently appointed Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies.

The chair supports research and teaching in Sikh and Punjabi studies at UCSC from a multicultural and global perspective.

In November, leading scholars from the United States, Canada, and England came to the campus for the inaugural conference in Sikh and Punjabi Studies at UC Santa Cruz--a three-day event that was open to both scholars and the general public.

Dean Ladusaw noted that UCSC provides fertile ground for the interdisciplinary study of diversity in modern American society and culture—adding that Sikh and Punjabi Studies broadens the curriculum with courses that convey and interpret the Sikh cultural heritage to the next generation.

“UC Santa Cruz has both the intellectual resources and educational objectives to develop this program and become an international leader in Sikh and Punjabi Studies,” said Ladusaw.

“Our campus is uniquely positioned to make the story of the Sikhs in North America, including its historical and global context, legible to a wider audience,” he added.

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