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Drexel Acquires Newman Center Property for Development of an Intercultural Center

January 13, 2010

Drexel University has acquired the Newman Center property located at 30 South 33rd Street (N.W. corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets) for the development of an Intercultural Center. Following negotiations with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the two-story, 18,000 square-foot, building was purchased for $2.7 million on Monday, January 11, 2010.

“The Intercultural Center will provide an environment that encourages engagement among all students, faculty, staff and the community by promoting dialogue and raising awareness and appreciation for diverse perspectives and traditions,” said James Tucker, senior vice president for Student Life and Administrative Services. “The University is committed to strengthening an environment that embraces ideological, intellectual, economic, gender, ability, sexual identity, religious, age, racial, cultural, ethnic, and all differences.”

The property will undergo a $1 million renovation to prepare the space for lectures, skill-building workshops, and opportunities for engagement and dialogue that promote systemic change toward intercultural and international competency across the institution. It will be a place for intellectual, faith and identity development, and a venue that fosters community building and collaboration among diverse groups within and outside the University.

“The Intercultural Center will be an outward expression of Drexel’s ongoing respect for and support of its diverse community,” said Michele Rovinsky, assistant vice president, Office of Equality and Diversity. “It will reinforce that Drexel provides a welcoming community.”

“This is an exciting time for our students to engage in dialogue around issues of multiculturalism,” said David Ruth, dean of students. “This facility will expand programmatic space for our faith-based spiritual organizations as well as meeting space for cultural student groups.”

The Intercultural Center will feature two seminar rooms, a prayer and reflection room, an interfaith chapel, an exhibition gallery, a resource center, an activity room and a kitchen. The Intercultural Center will also house the administrative offices of Drexel’s Office of Equality and Diversity, Office of Multicultural Programs, and Interfaith Council that includes the spiritual ministries of the Newman Center, Drexel Hillel Chapter, Asbury Ministry, and Baptist Campus Ministry.