Donation from Narinder Kapany will establish Sikh book collection and study room at McHenry Library


UC Santa Cruz received a gift from Dr Narinder Kapany to establish the Sundar Singh Kapany Book Collection and the Sundar Singh Kapany group study room at the university library.

The gift, including Kapany’s personal Sikh book collection, is valued at $ 55,000.

“It provides a wide range of books on Sikhs and Sikhism which will be an important new local resource for students, faculty and members of the community who are interested in various aspects of the Sikh and Punjabi studies program. ‘UCSC,’ noted Nirvikar Singh, Distinguished Professor of Economics and the Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Kapany, founding president of the Sikh Foundation and administrator of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, was also a professor at UC Santa Cruz from 1977 to 1983. In 1999, he endowed the Narinder Singh Kapany Chair in optoelectronics at the Baskin School of Engineering.

In 2008, Kapany received the Fiat Lux Award from the UC Santa Cruz Foundation in recognition of his outstanding achievement, dedication and service in support of the university’s program and goals.

A pioneering fiber optic researcher and entrepreneur, he also donated $ 500,000 to UC Santa Cruz in 2012 to establish an Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship.

UC Santa Cruz’s Sikh and Punjabi Studies program began in 2011, following a donation from Hardit and Harbhajan K. Singh, through the Sikh Foundation, to fund an endowed chair. The aim of the program is to advance teaching and research that improves understanding of Sikh and Punjabi culture from a global perspective.

Based in the Division of Humanities, the Sikh and Punjabi Studies program brings together professors from the humanities and beyond, including the fields of history, literature, art, music, and the economy.

There are approximately 25 million Sikhs in the world today, with large communities living in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and UK.

The ancestral homeland of the Sikhs is the Punjab region, divided between Pakistan and northern India. Sikhs arrived in California over a century ago, and their descendants are now employed in businesses ranging from high-tech entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley to farming in Central Valley.

Campaign for UC Santa Cruz supports excellence across the university through increased private investment in the people and ideas that shape the future. It brings new resources essential to the student experience, research excellence and campus commitment to environmental and social justice.


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