Srinarayanathas Foundation Doubles Down on Commitment to Toronto Tamil Chair

Markham, CANADA – The Srinarayanathas Foundation is pleased to announce that it is doubling down on its commitment to establish an Endowed Chair in Tamil Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. This renewed commitment is being announced today to mark the centenary birthday of the late Mrs. Pathiny Navaratnam, mother of foundation patron Navaratnam Srinarayanathas.

Born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Mrs. Pathiny Navaratnam was a dedicated Tamil language teacher for 35 years and continued to volunteer her time to teach Tamil to the next generation of Canadian Tamils in Winnipeg, Manitoba and later in Toronto, Ontario even into her early 90s. As the family matriarch, she also instilled in her four children and 10 grandchildren, her immense pride in her Tamil heritage and passionate commitment to community building. Her life continues to be a source of guidance for her family and serves as inspiration for the Srinarayanathas Foundation.

The Toronto Tamil Chair is a historic community campaign, spearheaded by Tamil Chair Inc. and the Canadian Tamil Congress, to raise $3 million to create an endowed professorship at Canada’s leading university which is based in a city that is also home to the one of the largest Tamil-speaking diasporas in the world. Specifically, the Tamil Chair, the first of its kind in Canada, will be catalytic in leading research and innovation in a Tamil related context and train students in a modern discipline but with the facility for bringing inter-disciplinary approaches to their teaching. It will also champion the memorialization and preserving Tamil heritage and promote ways to critically engage questions of technology as well as draw various other Tamil Studies-related initiatives, support, and ideas to the University of Toronto Scarborough and to Toronto, Canada.

Inspired by nearly a century-old tradition of philanthropy, the Srinarayanathas Foundation, a registered charitable private foundation, supports a wide variety of causes in Canada and around the world. Education is a key focus of the foundation having previously supported the 2020 Digital Inclusion Challenge for Quality Education or All, several educational initiatives in Sri Lanka, and the work of one of its related entities – Computek College, a leading private career college in Ontario that has been providing practical learning in business, healthcare, and technology for newcomers, immigrants, and refugees in the Greater Toronto Area for 30 years.

The Toronto Tamil Chair initiative resonates with me for many different reasons. Not only am I an educator and a proud alumnus of the University of Toronto but my paati’s legacy of teaching Tamil also drew me to this campaign. I also think this it is wonderful that the campaign has engaged donors from all walks of life as it is imperative that all of us work together to actively ensure that our shared Tamil identity is never erased. – Muraly Srinarayanathas, Chair, Srinarayanathas Foundation

The Toronto Tamil Chair committee is grateful for the support of the Srinarayanathas Foundation to our historic campaign. It is wonderful to see such philanthropic leadership from the next generation of Tamil Canadian business leaders. Sivan Ilangko, President, Canadian Tamil Congress and Director, Tamil Chair Inc.

Our foremost priority at the University of Toronto Scarborough is to create an environment where the world comes together for mutual good through inclusive excellence, where everyone feels a genuine sense of belonging, and is given an equitable opportunity to make their best contribution to our academic mission. The Tamil Chair represents an important expression of that priority, and helps us to strengthen our collective purpose, both academic and societal. On behalf of the University of Toronto Scarborough, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the Srinarayanathas Foundation for their generous and inspiring gift. Professor Wisdom Tettey, Vice President and Principal, University of Toronto Scarborough

For media queries: Sandra Smart: + 1 (647) 250-7427 |

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