New spiritual center to be named for Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla

The Penn State Board of Trustees on Jan. 21 unanimously approved naming the addition to the Eisenhower Chapel, The Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla Spiritual Center.

The name honors the memory of the Pasquerillas, who contributed $5 million toward the $9 million construction project that will add 22,500 square feet to the Eisenhower Chapel.

Frank Pasquerilla, who passed away in April 1999, was chairman and CEO of Johnstown-based Crown American Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust that specializes in regional shopping malls, including Nittany Mall in State College. His wife, Sylvia Pasquerilla, also died in 1999. The Pasquerillas' son, Mark, is now president of the company, and their daughter, Leah, is special assistant to the chairman and CEO.

The addition comes at a time when the Eisenhower Chapel can no longer meet the needs of the 32 registered student religious organizations on campus. Plans for the spiritual center include increasing seating in the worship area to accommodate 800 to 1,000 people and adding state-of-the-art audio, visual and telecommunications technology. The addition also will increase the number of meeting areas for the student groups and office space for campus ministries, and will complement the existing Eisenhower Chapel and its surroundings.

At their Nov. 5, 1999, meeting, the trustees a approved James Oleg Kruhly and Associates of Philadelphia as the architectural firm to design the center. The design is expected to be completed in November.

The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center will be supported solely by private funds. So far, a total of $7.5 million has been given to finance the project.

Last Updated March 19, 2009