Campus Life

New interfaith prayer and meditation room provides dedicated space for religious campus community members

In a testament to unity and togetherness, Oglethorpe University recently unveiled its newest addition to campus — an interfaith prayer and meditation space designed to accommodate students and faculty of all religious backgrounds.

Prayer rugs, bookshelves and books in the interfaith prayer and meditation space

Inside the new interfaith prayer and meditation space

Located in the Philip Weltner Library, the new space is private and tranquil with an abundance of natural light. It is currently furnished with storage cabinets, cubbies for shoes, a water fountain and a bookshelf; plans for installing privacy screens are underway. The single dedicated entrance is located to the right of the front doors of the library.

Open to any member of the Oglethorpe community looking for a place to pray, meditate or quietly reflect, the space was designed to grow and evolve. Bookshelves can be filled in with important texts and furnishings can be moved to accommodate a variety of religious or meditative practices.

“We want people from all faiths to feel welcome on campus,” says Marisol Zacarias, the inaugural director of Oglethorpe’s Intercultural Center. “As our campus continues to diversify, it is important all people feel welcomed and at home here.”

Efforts to construct the space were shepherded by the university’s Muslim Student Association — particularly Ashrakat Hassan ’23 and current MSA event coordinator Zach Hamley ’26. What began as a petition for a private prayer space evolved into a project that welcomes in the broader Oglethorpe community.

MSA event coordinator Zach Hamley '26

Student Zach Hamley ’26 speaks at the opening of the interfaith space

“I’m super proud that we can have this space for everyone and that we can have a place even quieter than the library, where people can go and sit in silence, meditate, or worship — whatever they need,” says Hamley. “The point of an educational institution is to help grow the mind and it’s only right that there’s a place to grow the heart here, too.”

The opening of the interfaith room aligns seamlessly with the university’s broader efforts to promote a welcoming campus environment. It sends a powerful message to its students, faculty and the wider community that Oglethorpe is committed to creating an environment where all individuals can thrive, regardless of their background.

Oglethorpe’s interfaith prayer and meditation space is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Access can be granted upon special request to the Office of Campus Safety.

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