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University of Houston

UH receives USD 2 million commitment to support Tamil language, culture

October 4, 2019

The Houston Tamil Studies Chair (HTSC) has made a USD 2 million pledge to the University of Houston (UH) to establish an endowment supporting the study of Tamil heritage. The HTSC is a non-profit organisation founded in 2018 to establish the Tamil studies chair at the UH. It provide a forum for the growing population of over 250,000 Tamil-Americans in the United States, according to a press release.

Its mission is to promote the oldest language, Tamil, which is spoken by more than 70 million globally. HTSC founding members Sockalingam Sam Kannappan, Dr S G Appan, Sockalingam Narayanan, Perumal Annamalai, Nagamanickam Ganesan, Tupil V Narasiman and Dr Thiruvengadam Arumugam have been leading community fundraising efforts in the Greater Houston area, Texas and beyond.

The HTSC board president, Sam Kannappan said, “As Tamil-American families assimilate into the fabric of the multi-cultural society in this great nation, and as all our children get educated in American Universities, HTSC takes great pride in leading this initiative to expand awareness of the rich Tamil culture, language and literature within an educational setting.”

Eloise Brice, vice president for University Advancement said, “Through this generous gift, we are able to enrich our academic programmes and introduce our students to Tamil’s special and unique culture.”

The initial USD 1 million pledge will create HTSC research endowment in the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Funds will support research programme costs, equipment and seminars with invited scholars who are experts on Tamil societies and the Tamil diaspora in the US.

Antonio D Tillis, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences explained, “This gift serves as a new resource for global research opportunities for our faculty and students. It affords expanding knowledge on a region that has interdisciplinary academic appeal with local and global contexts.”

Source: PTI

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