College's interfaith center gets gifts - Catholic Courier

College’s interfaith center gets gifts

Nazareth College officials announced Dec. 7 that the school’s interfaith center is the recipient of two major gifts.

Local couple Brian and Jean Hickey are giving Nazareth College $500,000 to name the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue, which was founded in 2005 to promote dialogue and teach students and community members to live peacefully in a religiously diverse world. Brian Hickey is a Nazareth College trustee and executive vice president of M&T Bank. Jean Hickey is primary therapist at Unity Behavioral Health.

The International Institute of Islamic Thought, which is based near Washington, D.C., also is donating $500,000 to fund the IIIT Chair of Interfaith Studies. Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, executive director of the Hickey CISD and a religious studies professor at Nazareth, has been named the IIIT Chair of Interfaith Studies. He will split his time between teaching and administering the center. The college recently started an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor in interfaith studies and is considering a graduate program in the same area.

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