Gannon University today officially dedicated a new Interfaith Prayer Space in the University’s Zurn Science Center, 143 West Seventh St.

The space is located on the third floor of the Zurn Science Center and is open to students of all faith traditions. The space was created primarily because students have expressed an interest in having a dedicated area where they can pray and reflect quietly, or read the sacred books associated with their respective faith traditions.

Rev. Michael Kesicki, associate vice president for Mission and Ministry at Gannon, and Melanie Hatch, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Business, addressed the large group of international students who had gathered for the dedication.

Rev. Kesicki read a passage from the Bible, and one of Gannon’s international students, Abrar Rahman (shown above), read from the Quran, the central religious text of Islam. The passage Rahman read was titled, “Surah Al-Fatihah,” which translates to “The Beginning.”

Rahman is a pre-med/biology major and is president of the Muslim Student Association at Gannon.

The Interfaith Prayer Space is made possible by the College of Engineering and Business in cooperation with Gannon University’s International Student Office and Office of Mission and Ministry.

Michael DeSanctis, Ph.D., a professor in Gannon’s fine arts program, served as the primary designer of the space. DeSanctis is an expert in liturgical design and has been involved in numerous projects internationally.

This article was originally published on October 5th, 2012 on