Penn State Intercom......May 1, 2003

Spiritual Center dedication is May 2

By Annemarie Mountz
Public Informationpasquerilla09

The Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla Spiritual Center dedication ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, May 2, inside the center on the University Park campus.

The ceremony will feature a welcome by Bill Asbury, vice president for Student Affairs; and remarks by Rodney Kirsch, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations; building benefactor Mark Pasquerilla; lead benefactor Sue Paterno; and Kofi Adu, chair of the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs Student Advisory Board. The dedication will be done by Edward R. Hintz Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees, and a ribbon-cutting will follow. pasquerilla07

The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which contains roughly 29,400 square feet of worship and program space, and the Helen Eakin Eisenhower Chapel, which is about 24,000 square feet, form one of the largest religious centers on a public university campus in the nation. The new center will provide much-needed space for the 46 religious student organizations currently registered on the University Park campus, and for the 25 full-time campus religious professionals who play host to more than 4,000 events on the campus annually.

There is a heightened recognition in today's society for the need to develop the entire individual -- individually, culturally and spiritually. Penn State recognizes that the well-being of its students -- and their ability to lead whole, productive lives upon graduation -- is not only a product of intellectual and cultural development, but also includes the development of sound morals, ethics and community values. As a result, the University is pioneering a movement among a growing number of private and public universities across the United States committed to establishing authentic, multi-faith religious centers where students of all faiths can worship under one roof.

The Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, built entirely through the generous gifts of private contributors, joins the Helen Eakin Eisenhower Chapel to serve that need at University Park. The University also has active religious communities on several other campuses.pasquerilla08

The Smith Chapel at Penn State Erie is a multi-faith worship space featuring the Floyd and Juanita Smith Carillon. The chapel is home for both Protestant and Catholic Campus Ministry and for the Center for Service Leadership, which coordinates the outreach and service projects of the students. It has moveable seating for up to 180 people.

The Edith Davis Eve Chapel at Penn State Altoona is available for use by all faiths and contains a sanctuary with an all-faiths altar, organ and choir loft. The building also contains office space, a social meeting room and a circular tower, approximately 65 feet high with a 50-bell carillon.

The Emmanuel Chapel at Mont Alto was built in 1854 and is believed to have been a worship site of well-known abolitionist John Brown. In 1992, Penn State Mont Alto purchased the chapel for $1 from the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The chapel, reopened in May 2000, now is used for worship services on Sundays, as well as classroom space and meeting space for student organizations.

The Interfaith Chapel at Hershey Medical Center features niche areas for the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. The chapel seats 49 people and is used for a wide array of memorial and remembrance services.

For more information about these chapels, check the Web at

The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, designed by James Oleg Kruhly and Associates of Philadelphia, emphasizes the experience of an inspiring volume of space and the importance of light. The first floor features a two-story core worship area that can accommodate 477 people, and three adjoining chambers with an additional 260 seats that can be opened to the main area or closed off as separate rooms. The complex includes several other program rooms that can be used for prayer, worship or other functions; two kitchens, one of which is kosher; administrative offices; and ample gathering space outside worship areas.

For more information, check the Web at

Annemarie Mountz can be reached at