The University of Virginia plans to establish a Contemplative Sciences Center with a $12 million gift from longtime benefactors.
Sonia and Paul Jones of Greenwich, Conn., made the gift to honor their Ashtanga yoga teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Paul Jones is a billionaire hedge-fund manager and a 1976 U.Va. graduate.
U.Va. says the center will involve a series of collaborations among the College of Arts & Sciences and the medical, nursing and education schools. It will encourage exploration of the practices, ideas and modern applications of contemplation, such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness training.
University officials say the Joneses would like to see U.Va. emerge as the world's center of thinking about how contemplative practices, ideas and values can transform higher education as well as society at large.