Indian-origin philanthropist makes grant of USD 1.5 million for Jainism studies

Mohini Jain, an Indian-origin philanthropist in the US has made a grant of USD 1.5 million to University of California (UC) Davis to advance studies in Jainism.

This will establish the Mohini Jain Presidential Chair for Jain Studies in Department of Religious Studies. A scholar with a well-established record for exceptional, creative and interdisciplinary research on Jainism will be awarded the chair.  

A formal announcement in this regard would be made on February 21.

Mohini Jain
Mohini Jain Photo courtesy:

Hoping that the impact of the chair at UC Davis will be a broadening of minds and a renewed focus on dialogue and peace, Jain said, “In our multicultural, global world, it is important to escape boxed-in points of view.”

The holder of the chair will help develop curriculum in Jain studies, give public lectures, offer graduate courses in Jainism, pursue a vigorous research agenda, and contribute to the development of religions of India and South Asia studies initiative at UC Davis by participating in community outreach.

With an extensive background in education and philanthropy, Mohini Jain had a successful career as a high school science teacher for 18 years, retiring in 2008 from Davis Senior High School. Since then she has been a founding member of the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross Yolo County Chapter and on the Board of Advisors for the Davis Schools Foundation, India Association of Davis and Yolo Community Foundation.

In 2001, she started the Mohini Jain Family Foundation, which provides yearly grants for education. Additionally, for 10 years, she served on the Board of Directors for Optivision, a high-tech Silicon Valley company.  

Mohini holds a Master’s degree in Botany from University of Delhi, India, and a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from SUNY Buffalo.