“Meditation and Reflection Room” in the upcoming $44 million William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR), currently being given finishing touches, would open on March 16; UNR President Dr. Marc A. Johnson told religious statesman Rajan Zed today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, has commended UNR for accepting the longstanding need of students for a neutral space for meditation, prayer, reflection, etc., and thus recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education. It is a step in the positive direction, Zed adds.
President Johnson told Zed that this Room would be open to all campus students belonging to various religions/denominations and non-believers for meditation, reflection and prayer. This room would include various cabinets where each group could keep their required religious icons and articles locked to be brought out when needed by individuals. It would be a quiet place for all students to use free-of-charge, he added.
Rajan Zed stresses that with the presence of “Meditation and Reflection Room”, UNR students will have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduate from here. “Meditation and Reflection Room” will be another feather in UNR’s cap in making it a world-class educational institution, Zed points out.
The 78,000 square foot Student Achievement Center, which is also opening on March 16, besides “Meditation and Reflection Room”; will also include Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Career Services, Advising Center, Student Veterans Affairs, Disabilities Resource Center, Counseling Services, etc. This building “will help our students to become great scholars”, a UNR brochure indicates.
Many universities in USA and Canada already have prayer/meditation room for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.
Claimed to be one of the “nation’s top public research universities”, UNR, the flagship institution of Nevada constitutionally established in 1874; is helping create the world’s most accurate atomic clock “which will lose only a fraction of a second over the next 14 billion years”, “home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs”; and boasts of several Pulitzer Prize winners and about half-a-dozen Hollywood films shot on the campus. Recognized as a National Tier 1 University, it has about 21,000 students and its “vision” includes improving “social progress”.