Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU), set in the rural northern Californian town of Ukiah some 185 kilometers north of San Francisco, has announced that it will reopen its campus for in-person classes from this month, after making making a series of special pandemic provisions for students last year.*
The university also confirmed that it is welcoming its largest student body to date, with 26 new students enrolled for its two degree programs plus a newly launched course in Buddhist translation.
“As Buddhist education continues to grow in the United States, DRBU will welcome 26 new students for its three programs—Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, Master of Arts in Buddhist Classics, and the newly launched Graduate Certificate Program in Buddhist Translation—at Convocation on 13 August 2021,” the university shared with Buddhistdoor Global. “DRBU’s largest student body to date is also its most diverse, including six Buddhist monks and nuns and 13 international students.”
Established in 1976 by the eminent Chinese Buddhist monk Venerable Hsuan Hua (1918–95) within the grounds of the Mahayana monastery City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Dharma Realm Buddhist University is a small private university and community dedicated to liberal education with the values and ideals of the Buddhist tradition that incorporate self-discovery, personal virtue, compassionate service to humanity, and sincerity in all endeavors.
“The strength of the community at DRBU is derived from the level of care integrated into everything we do,” said DRBU President Susan Rounds. “The new COVID safety protocols will protect the short-term and long-term health of those on campus, while enabling students to experience the spiritual environment and community that DRBU is known for.”
The university has said that it intends to implement “enhanced health and safety measures to ensure the well-being of students, faculty, and those living in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.” Vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty, and staff, with compulsory masking and social distancing throughout public spaces, classrooms, and facilities. In partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the DRBU said it would also offer regular on-campus rapid antigen testing.
“We look to the next academic year with hope as DRBU grows, with nearly all of its new students having overcome obstacles in order to attend,” said director of admissions and financial aid Wayne Chen. “DRBU attracts students who ask deep human questions. It brings me tremendous joy to welcome them to campus to continue their personal, educational, and spiritual journeys at DRBU.”
The university seeks to embody a tradition characterized by knowledge in the arts and sciences, self-cultivation, and the pursuit of wisdom. Dharma Realm Buddhist University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
“Newly enrolled students with a range of backgrounds—including a practicing psychiatrist and a performance artist—are drawn to DRBU’s curriculum, which is rooted in Buddhist tradition of knowledge in the arts and sciences, self-cultivation, and the pursuit of wisdom,” DRBU shared. “Rather than lectures, DRBU classes are discussion-based and intimate, giving students the opportunity to reflect on the foundations of the human experience and explore implications for both themselves and the wider world. This also marks the first semester for DRBU’s largest MA cohort to date, with 16 students from the US, Canada, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, and China set to begin classes at North America’s largest Buddhist monastery on 16 August.”
* Dharma Realm Buddhist University in California Adjusts to Life with COVID-19 (Buddhistdoor Global)
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