Office of Religious Life

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New Name, New Building

Posted by on Monday, June 17, 2013 in News.

Our office has moved, and with this great transition comes a new name as well. In the re-establishment of the position of University Chaplain with our Rev. Mark Forrester, the department has been renamed the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life. With a renewed focus on ministry in addition to the spiritual life of campus, OUCRL has moved in to a larger, and better space with the move of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service to a new space in Rand Hall.

OUCRL has moved in to the formerly known Community Partnership House (CPH), that also formerly served as the Chancellor’s Mansion. With former residents such as the University Club, a sorority, admissions and Chancellors, the new space for OUCRL will be a vast improvement from the Tarpley Building where Religious Life had resided for decades past. Click here to see more images of the new building! (Plus two historic pictures of the building from years past)

Located at 401 24th Ave South, the building is located only feet from the Branscomb dorms and more centrally located on campus than the previous building. Adjacent to the Student Life Center, University Club and Feathering Hall, the new offices give easy access for students, staff and faculty alike. Inside, the building offers additional offices and meeting spaces. In addition to the office spaces for the Presbyterian Student Fellowship, Reformed University Fellowship, Chabad Jewish Student Center, and others, we are able to have Fr. John Sims Baker, our Affiliated Catholic Chaplain have space in our office as well.

The building hosts a larger conference room, library (with a proposed “technology-free zone”), and a new lobby and reception desk when visitors enter the front door. In addition, the building features a very large Fireside Lounge where students and groups can meet, host receptions, and watch television and movies. Behind this space is another large space that will be work space for students and feature a computer for all students to utilize. Outside the building has a spacious patio with outdoor tables and chairs where all can enjoy the lush greenery and massive trees that have been a part of the house’s charm for decades. Behind the building is the Annex, where Muslim prayers have been held and will continue to serve the Vanderbilt community as students, staff and faculty, including the Medical Center, have access for prayer throughout the day.

On August 22nd later this summer, OUCRL will host an Open House and Cook Out once the academic year has begun for all students, staff, faculty, community, but especially new students, that will show the wonderful potential this new space brings to OUCRL. What will come to be a welcoming and “home away from home” space for students, the new space will be a comfortable place to relax, study, read, watch TV, meet, discuss and engage with one another, our various Chaplains, staff, and a feeling of respite and relaxation on Vanderbilt’s busy campus.