Hendricks Chapel Announces New Hindu Chaplaincy; Welcomes Sanjay Mathur as Hindu Chaplain

Hendricks Chapel is excited to announce a new Hindu Chaplaincy and appoint Sanjay Mathur as the inaugural Hindu Chaplain.

Sanjay Mathur studio portrait

Sanjay Mathur

“To welcome a Hindu Chaplaincy to Syracuse University is an occasion for tremendous celebration,” says the Rev. Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel. “I am grateful for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who contributed to this historic moment. We at Hendricks Chapel are excited for Sanjay Mathur to join our diverse and dynamic team of chaplains, and I look forward to our shared future in service to our common good.”

The Hindu Student Association (HSA), one of 25 religious and spiritual life groups at Hendricks Chapel, was founded in 2018 and provided a strong foundation for a new Hindu Chaplaincy. Through the efforts of inaugural student president Akshay Bapat ’21, Associate Dean of Hendricks Chapel Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz, the late Anju Varshney and Pramod Varshney, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the HSA has grown significantly and now serves hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“I am truly delighted to learn that a Hindu chaplain is coming onboard at Hendricks Chapel. He will serve a large Hindu community at Syracuse University. It has been a longstanding need,” says Varshney. “I would like to thank Dean Brian Konkol for recognizing this and for his vision to enhance Chapel offerings to include our Hindu student population.”

A founding board member of the North American Hindu Chaplains Association, Mathur is a national leader with strong ties to Central New York. In addition to serving as Hindu chaplain for the Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester, he has served as president of the Board of Trustees for the Hindu Temple of Rochester (Rochester, New York) and is a sought-after speaker and teacher on spirituality and health.

“The addition of Chaplain Mathur is a meaningful step toward furthering HSA’s mission to foster a welcoming environment of Hindu spirituality on campus that supports the pursuit and practice of Dharma,” says Siya Kumar ’24, the current president of the HSA and a public health student. “We look forward to furthering our programs, resources, events and support with the guidance of a professional who has ample experience and an even bigger heart.”

As the newest chaplain at Hendricks Chapel, Chaplain Mathur will partner with nine other chaplaincies to draw upon his traditions and practices to serve as a resource for the entire Syracuse University community. “I have the courage to work, persist, grow and inspire people in the Hindu tradition; to learn about reflective listening and compassionate care,” Mathur says.

To welcome Chaplain Mathur to Syracuse University, the Hindu Student Association will host a Ram Navami Pooja in Hendricks Chapel at 4 p.m. Friday, April 7. Following the program, all members of the campus community are invited to a reception in the Noble Room at 5:30 p.m.