HONG KONG, October 3, 2011 — Mr. Robert Y. C. Ho, Chairman of the Board of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, today announced that the Foundation has expanded its initiatives to promote the understanding of Buddhist philosophy in the West, and to bridge the study and practice of Buddhism, by donating a total of $5.2 million US in grants to Harvard University and Stanford University. In their combined purpose and effect, these grants are unprecedented as donations to major U.S. universities.
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As I have lamented before (here, for instance), scholarship in the Humanities in general and Buddhism in particular tends to be woefully underfunded. This week saw a small but very substantial move to remedy this situation, and it just happens to focus on two areas of greatest concern for me: Buddhist philosophy, and the link between Buddhist thought and practice.