Published: December 08, 2010
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The University of Tampa is committed to nurturing and developing the character of its students. The
Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values
, which will be dedicated on Dec. 10, is a visual statement of this.
enduring statement is the formation of the Resource Team for Faith,
Values and Spirituality. Formed in fall 2009, the 19-member group has
been creating venues and platforms for students, faculty and staff to
engage in meaningful conversations.
The resource team’s mission
is to further strengthen UT students’ academic and personal development
through character-building, spiritual development and enhancing their
understanding of world cultures and religions.
“I love hearing
the experiences of students who have already been participating in our
programs. They are really enjoying having deep, meaningful dialogue with
others,” said Stephanie Russell Holz, associate dean of students,
director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and leader
of the resource team. “One student mentioned to me that her experience
has shown her that you have to talk to one another to understand each
other. Having dialogue is always the first step.”
team has successfully launched a Spirituality and Film Series, book
club, values-based retreat and Community Conversations, which assembles
the UT community into small groups for lunchtime conversations about a
range of topics. The goal is to promote social justice, cultural
inclusion, appreciation of diversity and the breaking down of barriers.
The resource team is also collaborating with the Interfaith Youth Core, a
Chicago-based international nonprofit, in building a successful and
sustainable center of interfaith cooperation on campus.
coming semester some of the resource team’s programs include a
meditative walk in the chapel’s labyrinth, a showing and discussion of
Eat Pray Love
and a book club featuring
Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation
by Eboo Patel.
Patel, one of
U.S. News and World Report’s
Top Leaders of 2009 and executive director of the Interfaith Youth
Core, will also be giving a keynote address on March 15 at 7 p.m. on the
importance of religious pluralism and interfaith leadership.
the dedication for the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values is
approaching, the energy on campus is rising,” said Russell Holz.
“Students are so excited that character and values programs will now
have a home.”
The dedication of the 15,000-square-foot,
interfaith facility will be held at 2 p.m. with tours and the first
sounding of the 3,184-pipe custom-built organ. For members of the public
who wish to attend, RSVPs are requested at (813) 257-3019.
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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