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The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Presidential Chair in Buddhist Studies

The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Presidential Chair in Buddhist Studies endowment is used to support an annual Visiting Professor of Buddhist studies who will deliver a public lecture as well as offer a series of graduate seminars and/or workshops in his/her area of research.

In addition, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Presidential Graduate Fellowship in Buddhist Studies contributes to the financial support of high-achieving Ph.D. students in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley.


2019 Chao Presidential Chair
David Germano, University of Virginia

2019 Seminar Series
David Germano teaches a weekly graduate-level seminar, reading with graduate students across several departments in the Tibetan Buddhist literature of the Great Perfection, one of today's most popular Buddhist traditions around the world. In addition to his seminar, Germano meets with a group of students and scholars for a further three hours each week to read more deeply in the Great Perfection literature.

2019 Annual Lecture
Thursday, April 11, 5 pm
Buddhist Contemplation and Higher Education: Researching and Adapting Contemplation in Modern Universities.

Buddhist contemplation has a long history with complex educational institutions, namely Buddhist monasteries all across Asia. In recent decades, there has been a surge of interest in the American academy in such practices, including scientific research on their efficacy and mechanism, possible adaptation for new pedagogical approaches in the classroom, and inspiration for fresh perspectives on co-curricular programming for students. This talk will reflect on such developments by considering both the promise and peril involved across multiple registers as modern academics revisit the fault lines of the ancient emergence of universities out of monastic institutions and their contemplative lifestyles.

David Germano, Biography
David Germano is a world renowned expert of Tibetan forms of meditation and their modern applications. He is professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where he also serves as the director of the Tibet Center (www.uvatibetcenter.org), director of the Contemplative Sciences Center (www.uvacontemplation.org), and director of SHANTI (Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives, (www.shanti.virginia.edu). He also is the founder and director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL, www.thlib.org), the largest international initiative using digital technology to facilitate collaboration in Tibetan Studies across disciplines. He works extensively with each of the eleven schools at UVA to explore learning, research, and engagement initiatives regarding contemplation in their own disciplinary and professional areas. He is currently focused on the exploration of contemplative ideas, values, and practices involving humanistic and scientific methodologies, as well as new applications in diverse fields; he also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Nursing.

His personal research interests are focused on the Nyingma and Bön lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, tantric traditions overall, Buddhist philosophy, and Tibetan historical literature and concerns, particularly from the eighth to fifteenth centuries. He also does research on the contemporary state of Tibetan religion in relationship to China, and non-monastic yogic communities in cultural Tibet, and has broad intellectual interests in international philosophical and literary traditions, including hermeneutics, phenomenology, literary criticism, systems theory, among others.


2018 Chao Presidential Chair
2020 Chao Presidential Chair (to be announced)