Published: March 18, 2011
Watch video from Eboo Patel's visit
University of Tampa is at the forefront of a presidential initiative to
incorporate interfaith education on college campuses.
The week the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships announced the
President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge
, UT launched its partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core with a talk by its founder, Eboo Patel.
Chicago-based nonprofit fueling the interfaith youth movement, the
Interfaith Youth Core is a model for the White House plan, which asks
university presidents to commit to promoting interfaith cooperation and
community service on their campuses. The University of Tampa has begun a
one-year commitment with the
Interfaith Youth Core
to build the framework for a sustainable interfaith leadership program.
dream is for interfaith leadership and interfaith literacy to be
hallmarks of a college education. He told a University of Tampa crowd on
March 15, gathered in the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values,
that he was energized to be in a place that was piloting the movement.
can tell you that I can’t think of another campus in the country that
has the combination of your dedication of an aspirational vision and a
beautiful, powerful, physical building in which you are the proof that
we are better together,” said Patel, who sits on the Advisory Council at
the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
from the Interfaith Youth Core came to campus in mid-February for a
dialogue with select campus leaders as well as members of the Resource
Team for Faith, Values and Spirituality, which includes students,
faculty and staff. On Tuesday, Patel met with President Ronald L.
Vaughn, had lunch with faculty and staff members and engaged with
student leaders at an intimate dinner.
Patel is one of U.S. News
and World Report’s Top Leaders of 2009, an Ashoka Fellow and Rhodes
scholar who has a doctorate from Oxford University in the sociology of
religion. He has shared his vision at gatherings like the Clinton Global
Initiative, TED conference and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
show at the University of Tampa that Hindus and Humanists, Buddhists
and Baha’is, Pentecostals and Presbyterians, gay folks and straight
folks, that what you do is work together,” Patel said. ”You work
together to improve your campus and improve your community.”
University is working with the Interfaith Youth Core to enhance current
interfaith programming and launch new initiatives for the fall.