OREM -- One of Utah Valley University's tenets is inclusiveness, welcoming all students whatever their status in life.
To that end, the university built a new three-part reflection center, which will have a ribbon cutting ceremony and related events on Wednesday.
"It is part of the university's commitment to this holistic approach to the student experience," said Brian D. Birch, director of the Religious Studies program. "We wanted to make sure there was a space set aside for that spiritual dimension. It has created a lot of excitement."
The reflection center is part of the student life and wellness center, which opened in April.
"We wanted to have a separate ribbon cutting for the reflection center," Birch said.
The center has 2,000 square feet and is divided into three spaces. One is the convening room, which can hold student meetings, academic dialogue and lectures. Another is the prayer room, in which students can pray, chant and express themselves individually. In the meditation room the focus is on a quiet space. It is on the far end of the facility.
"We have some meditation classes that are offered and will be again this fall," Birch said.
He said officials expect a good response to continue.
The center is unusual.
"This is a really great center," Susanna Garcia, program coordinator for the Center for the Study of Ethics, said. "I think it is unique to Utah. It is really great for Utah Valley and is kind of near and dear to our president's heart as well."
UVU President Matthew S. Holland is well known for urging inclusiveness.
In addition to the ribbon cutting Wednesday, there will be a presidential lecture, a student activity promoting inter-religious understanding and a screening of an independent film.
The ribbon cutting begins at noon at the center on the first floor of the Student Life and Wellness Center.
Eboo Patel, an expert on religious diversity, will present the fall Presidential Lecture. It is "Changing the World through Interfaith Cooperation." It will be in the Grande Ballroom of the Sorensen Student Center at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Participants will then gather in small groups to learn about different faith perspectives in the student activity from 3 to 5 p.m., also in the Grande Ballroom.
In the Reflection Center at 6:30 p.m. there will be a screening of "Us and Them: Religious Rivalry in America." It tells the story of Bryan Hall, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his experiences in the Bible Belt, where he needed to determine if he must really love his enemies to be a true disciple of Christ.
Literature at the Reflection Center has a comment from Birch.
"For nearly twenty years, UVU has cultivated the academic academic exploration of religious diversity and diplomacy," it says. "Our location and mission provide a unique opportunity to facilitate dialogue among a variety of religious communities on our campus and in our region. We welcome a diversity of voices in exploring ideas that shape our culture and provide meaning as part of the human experience."