In Thomas Hunter Hall, students from six different religious groups will share space in what is a model of diversity across religious, racial, national and economic lines. The new Multi-Faith Center houses Muslim Student Association, Hillel, Hindu Student Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Korea Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Sikh Student Association. There is also room for Chaplains of different faiths as well as a room designated for multi-faith programming.
Hunter has a long history of providing a welcoming environment to students of all religious and spiritual backgrounds. Nearly three quarters of a century ago, Hunter had the country’s first student space dedicated to interfaith and interracial understanding when it acquired Roosevelt House and renamed it Sara Delano Roosevelt Memorial Interfaith House using the part of the home where Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt lived and raised their family.
“Today’s dedication is another milestone in Hunter’s long history as a national leader in interfaith and interracial relations,” said President Raab.
On the wall in the new center is a quote from President Roosevelt sent at the time of the dedication he couldn’t attend which was during World War II. It reads “This place of sacred memories is to become the first college center established for the high purpose of mutual understanding between Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic students.”
“What was important then is equally if not of greater importance today,” President Raab continued. “America has acquired many more faiths than the country knew in 1943 so it is essential our new space be welcome to these new groups and all students who are part of the Hunter community.”
At a ribbon cutting dedicating the new facility, Saim Siddiqui, a Hunter senior and president of the Muslim Student Association said, “In the past, Hunter’s faith based clubs, while in this building, were dispersed. Having this community together in a shared space will be invaluable.”
Satvinder Guru, president of the Sikh Student Association, summarized: “This Multi-Faith Center demonstrates not only our remarkable diversity as Hunter College students, but our unity.”