“Interfaith Space” in the $44 million William N. Pennington Student
Achievement Center at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR), currently under
construction, would open in January 2016; UNR President Dr. Marc A. Johnson
told distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and who met Johnson
in his office, has commended UNR for accepting the longstanding need of
students of interfaith space for reflection, meditation, etc., and thus
recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. It is a step in
the right direction, Zed adds.
Johnson told Zed that this Space would be open to all campus student groups
belonging to various religions/denominations and non-believers for
reflection and meditation. This room would include various cabinets where
each group could keep their required icons and articles locked to be
brought out when needed.
President Johnson also informed Zed that initially the Interfaith Space
would be open from eight am to nine pm daily, with the possibility of
opening it for 24-hours seeing the need and feasibility. It would be a
quiet place for all students to use free-of-charge, he added
Rajan Zed stresses that with the presence of Interfaith Space, UNR students
will have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success
after they graduate from here. Interfaith Space will be another feather in
UNR’s cap in making it a world class educational institution, Zed points
Johnson further told Zed that 70,600 square feet Student Achievement
Center, besides Interfaith Space, would also include Writing Center, Math
Center, Tutoring Center, Career Studio, Advising Center, Student Veterans
Center, Disability Resource Center, Counseling Services, etc.
This building “will help our students to become great scholars” … will also
offer support areas “for students to continue learning outside of the
standard classroom environment”, a UNR brochure indicates.
Many universities in USA and Canada already have prayer/meditation room for
quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.
UNR, founded in 1874 and which has about 20,000 students, is known for
helping to create the world’s most accurate atomic clock, earthquake
expertise, highly ranked MBA program, several Pulitzer Prize winners and
for "study of the behavior of matter at extremely high temperatures and
densities". About half-a-dozen Hollywood films were shot here and it is
home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs.
Details of the picture attached**: Rajan Zed (left) with Dr. Marc A.
Johnson after the meeting discussing Interfaith Space.