Nanda R. and Pamela L. Shrestha Fund for Honouring Nepal Scholars
The Nanda R. and Pamela L. Shrestha Fund for Honouring Nepal Scholars was established in 2018 with a donation of USD 30,000 from Nanda Raj Shrestha, Professor Emeritus of World Cultures and Resources at the School of Business and Industry at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to Social Science Baha. The Fund provides an opportunity to contemporary scholars to celebrate and extend the work of scholars in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, both Nepali and foreign, who have contributed to a better understanding of Nepal and Nepali society.
Initially set up as the ‘Nanda R. and Pamela L. Shrestha Lecture Series: Honouring Nepal Scholars’, its scope was widened in 2022 to incorporate activities other than lectures in pursuit of the same goal.
A geographer by training, Professor Shrestha is the author of the seminal book, Landlessness and Migration in Nepal (1990), among many other publications. Explaining the reason for his generous gift, Professor Shrestha said, ‘This Lecture Series can be regarded as a form of sharing to show respect for all those who paved a path for my academic advancement and growth. My desire to pay homage to Nepali scholars and scholarship dates back to my early days back in Pokhara where my teachers were instrumental in laying my academic foundation. They were the ones who collectively acted as my formal educational anchor, the anchor that remains firmly grounded as it continues to guide my profound respect for Nepali scholars and scholarship to this day.’
‘There is also the ever-lasting influence of my parents who taught me the eternal (and perhaps spiritual as well) value of sharing,’ he said. ‘Growing up poor, my family was always vulnerable to food shortages. But that mattered little to my parents. My mother would always feed my school friends whatever foods she had cooked, even if that meant we would have to go half-belly. In a way, setting up this lecture series is my way of honouring my parents as well for inculcating in me the value of sharing.’
Chairperson of Social Science Baha, Professor Nirmal Man Tuladhar said: ‘It is a great honour for us to receive the donation from Professor Nanda Raj Shrestha, and, more importantly, for the trust and responsibility he has placed in us. While Social Science Baha focuses on social sciences, we feel that it is equally important to promote scholarly work on the humanities and the arts. The Lecture Series, named after Professor Shrestha and his wife, Pamela, will not only honour their generous donation, but it will also remind us the value of sharing and honouring those that teach us.’