Religious Life

Welcome to a new year of community and growth with the Office of Religious Life!

It is wonderful to be together on campus again, even with the Covid restrictions that keep us safe.  It is such a joy to be seeing people in person after so many months apart.  We are thankful to have each and every one of you as our friends.

Please know that if you plan to attend any kind of event at the University, including services and programs offered through the ORL, that you must register at the door or in advance.  This is to enable the University to do contact tracing as necessary.  Members of the general public are welcome to attend these events, but only if fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  When you register you will be asked to attest to the fact that you are vaccinated.  If you would like to register in advance for any program or service, please fill out this form . 

We have planned many enriching programs for the months to come, and hope to see you there!

 

The ORL is joyfully welcoming yet two more new colleagues!

Erica Harris DeValve is our new communications and program coordinator. Overseeing communications for an Office of Religious Life at a secular university that includes the worlds religious diversity is a task that requires a very particular set of skills and sensibilities, and Erica embodies them! Erica grew up in Princeton and graduated from Princeton in 2017 majoring in English with a certificate in African American Studies. She went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2021, where she also apprenticed with the Racial Agency Initiative (RIA)/George Floyd Global Memorial (GFGM). “Princeton is home to me in many ways. The university is my alma mater, and Princeton is also my hometown. So this feels a bit like a homecoming! It’s particularly exciting to be coming back to be a part of (this) special office. Already, I am seeing the uniqueness of this community and I am so excited for the connections and collaboration ahead.”

Eleni Koukourdeli is our new CJL Administrator, a position in which she oversees the facility and University finances of the Center for Jewish Life.  Born in Greece, Eleni emigrated to the United States in 2011 and found another home at Princeton University. First, she started working at Princeton’s Financial Service Center, where she learned the University’s policies and procedures. Eleni then joined SPIA, where she supported multiple professors with the implementation of their curriculum and organized special events, supporting centers, and coordinating workshops. Eleni is thrilled to begin her new chapter with the Office of Religious Life and the Center for Jewish Life as she continues her Princeton journey.  In her free time, Eleni enjoys cooking, traveling, and photography.

Imam Khalil Abdullah appointed Assistant Dean

Imam Khalil Abdullah appointed Assistant Dean

Imam Khalil Abdullah appointed Assistant Dean

The Office of Religious Life is thrilled to announce that Imam Khalil Abdullah will be joining our staff in August as our new Assistant Dean, Muslim Life.  Imam Khalil succeeds Imam Sohaib Sultan, whose untimely death occurred last April (that notice is below).   Imam Khalil has served since 2017 at Dartmouth College as Muslim and Interfaith Advisor and is co-chair of Dartmouth’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion.  He is a graduate of Hartford Seminary’s Muslim chaplaincy program, where he also worked as Major Gifts Officer.

Imam Khalil is no stranger to the ORL, having served on our Advisory Council since 2019.   He has also been invited on numerous occasions to lead prayers and other events for our Muslim Life Program, and has become a cherished spiritual advisor to many at Princeton.  Wasim Shiliwala GS, a student leader in the Muslim community and member of the search committee for the position, says of Imam Khalil, “In my interactions with him, I have found him to be heartfelt, humble, and compassionate. He is someone that Sohaib thought highly of - which speaks magnitudes about his character. In addition to a kind heart, he brings a wealth of experience caring for students of all faiths and backgrounds. As a student of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, he also carries the wisdom of one of the most important and relevant spiritual guides in American history - one whom Sohaib made sure to commemorate every year.”

During his years of partnership with us in the ORL Imam Khalil has made a profound impression because of the depth of his faith, the loving kindness with which he engages every person, his wisdom, his gifts for teaching, for offering sermons, for building bridges between individuals and communities, and for his commitment to justice within and across communities.  Associate Dean of Religious Life, Matt Weiner, says, “With my perspective of thirty years of interfaith organizing, I can think of no one better suited for this position than Imam Khalil.”  He will be a valuable leader in the ORL’s many cross- and off-campus institutional partnerships, deepening our existing relationships and building new ones.  The generosity of spirit, heart, and intellect that he brings to every encounter have already been a blessing to Princeton, and we look forward to welcoming him formally to his new role with us on August 16!

    - Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel

The Office of Religious Life Appoints New Director of Chapel Music and of the Princeton University Chapel Choir

Dr. Nicole Aldrich appointed Director of Chapel Music and of the Princeton University Chapel Choir

Dr. Nicole Aldrich appointed Director of Chapel Music and of the Princeton University Chapel Choir

Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life is delighted to announce that Dr. Nicole Aldrich will join us this August as the Director of Chapel Music and of the Princeton University Chapel Choir, succeeding Penna Rose, who served in the position for 29 formative years.  Dr. Aldrich is currently Senior Lecturer and Director of Choral Activities at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of Music for the nearby University United Methodist Church. 

Dr. Aldrich received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Northwestern University and her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland.  She has been at Washington University since 2011, with a prior appointment at the University of Delaware.  She is a professional soprano and pianist as well as a conductor.  The search for the new Chapel Choir director received applications from more than a hundred candidates from around the world, a group in which Dr. Aldrich distinguished herself for her ability to create extraordinary music, to expand ensembles, to provide warm support to student singers, and to broaden the repertoire of her choirs to include more non-Western works as well as those composed by women, people of color, and LGBTQ musicians. 

Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel Theresa Thames says, “I’m excited to see the creative ways in which Nicole will use music to forge even deeper connections between the University Chapel and the surrounding community, and to continue to build the wonderful community that is the Chapel choir and congregation.”  Sean Crites ’22, member of both the Chapel Choir and of the search committee for the position, says, "Even in our brief interactions, Nicole’s dedication to teaching, creating music, and fostering an inclusive environment where all can come to share their love of music was evident and I am absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to work with her in the Chapel Choir!" 

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Aldrich to the Princeton campus in August, and to a wonderful new chapter of choral music at the Princeton University Chapel!

     - Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel

 

Silent Vigil

Dear colleagues, the Office of Religious Life is creating lawn signs to be posted around Murray-Dodge Hall that honor members of the extended University community who have been lost to Covid-19 – students, staff, faculty, alumni, and their loved ones.  This link will take you to a form through which you can submit information about the person(s) you wish to honor.  Please share this link with other members of the campus community.  We will continually add to the display of signs as more submissions are received.

Gratefully,

Alison Boden and the ORL staff

ORL YouTube

Check out our Office of Religious Life YouTube Channel to see our prayerful reflections, weekly Sunday services, After Noon Concert Series, Music Meditation and other offerings from our office. 

  • Pop-Up Meditation

    Fri, Sep 24, 2021, 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm
    Location: Various Locations on Campus!
    Speaker(s):
  • Jummah Gathering

    Fri, Sep 24, 2021, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
    Location: Murray-Dodge Hall
  • Sunday Chapel Worship Service

    Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Location: Princeton University Chapel
    Speaker(s):
  • Hallelujah Church @ Princeton

    Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
    Location: Murray-Dodge 104
    Speaker(s):

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