PRINCETON, NJ - This fall, Hindu students at Princeton University will have something they’ve never had before: a chaplain of their own. The University’s Office of Religious Life has hired Vineet Chander, a second-generation Hindu-American and national leader of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), as its Coordinator for Hindu Life.
Chander’s appointment is historically significant—he will be the first Hindu chaplain in the more than two hundred year history of the prestigious University.
“The increasing diversity of Princeton’s student body is bringing a wonderful diversity of religious traditions as well,” said Alison Boden, the University’s dean of religious life and the chapel. “Our new colleague in the Office of Religious Life will help us not only to support the Hindu community but also to promote interreligious understanding and dialogue as a part of all students’ total Princeton education.”
The American-born Chander, who also serves as the Director of Communications for ISKCON in North America, is no stranger to working with “Generation Y” (14 to 26 year olds)—Hindus and non-Hindus alike. He is a youth mentor and minister within ISKCON, and served as the Hindu Chaplain at George Washington University (Washington D.C.) for three years before moving to New Jersey.
Chander is also an attorney and communications consultant. After graduating from George Washington University Law School, he worked for one year in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York, specializing in Domestic Violence cases.