Dalai Lama offers $100K to Florida university | world | Hindustan Times
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Dalai Lama offers $100K to Florida university

world Updated: May 27, 2009 11:11 IST

The Dalai Lama has offered $100,000 to help an imperiled religion department at a Florida university after receiving an e-mailed plea for a letter of support from a longtime acquaintance on the faculty.

"He responded with this astounding, astounding offer," said Nathan Katz, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Florida International University. "I fell off my chair."

The department is one of three at FIU slated to close in response to a $27 million cut in state funding to the public university.

Katz said he e-mailed the Dalai Lama's office last month after finding out the programme was in jeopardy and asked for a letter of support.

FIU received a letter from the Dalai Lama's office this week offering $100,000 and his help fundraising to prevent the planned closure of the department.

"In our deeply interconnected world, understanding and appreciation of diversity of religions is critical in fostering a culture of genuine tolerance and peaceful coexistence," read the letter from a secretary to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader who has spent 50 years in exile after a failed uprising to oust Chinese rulers.