Varun Soni is an unusual college chaplain. He is a Hindu. He has a law degree. In 2008, when USC hired him as its dean of religious life, he was the sole head chaplain at a major American university who was not only not a Christian but not an ordained Christian at that.
Today, at a time when differences — religious and otherwise — grow ever more fraught and complex, he remains all but alone in breaking the Protestant chaplain mold, except for a rabbi at Dartmouth, another at Wesleyan, a Buddhist at Emerson.