Arizona Daily Wildcat March 10, 1998
'Little Chapel' offers an escape
Sandwiched between a fraternity and a sorority house is a small chapel offering peace to the everyday student.
The Little Chapel of All Nations, 1052 N. Highland Ave., is a part of the Ada Peirce McCormick Building. The chapel is identified by a small, comforting sign that invites all people to enter and spend some quiet time.
"Ada Peirce McCormick donated the building to the university on the condition that it be used as a respite for students of all nationalities - a place where they could get away from the hectic day-to-day aspect of life," said Richard Kissling, who is assistant director of the University of Arizona Honors Center and teaches a class in the Little Chapel of All Nations building.
The building, between the Kappa Sigma fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority houses, was built in 1990 with money from a foundation McCormick established before her death in 1974.
Randi Kisiel, a part-time executive director of the foundation, said McCormick was a forward thinker for her time, enthusiastically supporting Gandhi's freedom, racial equality and a health organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood of Tucson.
She said the building is sometimes used for weddings and memorial services, but is more frequently used for classes, tutoring and the Literacy Volunteers of Pima County and Tucson Adult Literacy Volunteers.
The chapel is also used by small religious groups. All organizations are welcome to use the facilities, which include a conference room, library, chapel, living room and full kitchen.
"McCormick wanted groups who didn't have a space or the funding to have a place to go," Kisiel said.
Pablo Cabanillas, a finance and economics senior who was waiting in the chapel's courtyard for a writing appointment last week, said it was the first time he had been there. Cabanillas said he would definitely come back.
"It lured me in," he said. "It's calm and fresh, a great place to read."
Kissling agreed that students often like what they find at the chapel and return.
"It's a warm, cozy kind of atmosphere," Kissling said. "A lot of students will come back on their own to find a place to study or meditate."
A plaque on a chapel wall illustrates the open welcome to many faiths and McCormick's philosophy: "In my Father's house there are many mansions and some will have the cross and some will have the crescent and some will have the star."