Çeli̇k Appointed Colgate University’s First Imam

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Ahmet Çeli̇k, PhD candidate and instructor in religion and Middle Eastern studies at Syracuse University, has been appointed as the first campus imam and Muslim student adviser at Colgate University.

“Colgate continues to demonstrate its support for religious life on campus with this important and historic step in hiring our first imam,” says University Chaplain and Protestant Campus Minister Corey MacPherson, who chaired the search. “Ahmet has the rare combination of being one who has the mind of a scholar and the heart of a chaplain. We will be a better office and community because of his presence and work among us.”

Çeli̇k earned his BA in Islamic studies and theology and his MA in Islamic law and Ottoman political history from Marmara University. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University during the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 academic years. While pursuing his degree at Syracuse, he has conducted research in Strasbourg, France, on religion and human rights and delivered multiple lectures on central concepts in the understanding of Islam.

“I look forward to welcoming Ahmet to campus and to this important position within the Office of the Chaplains and Dean of the College Division,” says Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin. “It is vital that Colgate’s Muslim students are well supported on campus, and his presence, scholarship, and counsel will serve as important resources for our students.”

Çeli̇k’s appointment comes just months after the University opened a dedicated prayer space on Broad Street for Muslim students, faculty, and staff.

“This new student prayer space is fundamental to the support we provide to Muslim students at Colgate and demonstrates the University’s ongoing commitment to creating inclusive spaces that are reflective of our diverse student population,” McLoughlin said in announcing the opening. 

Çeli̇k’s arrival on campus furthers that support. 

“Ahmet’s instant connection with — and acceptance by — Colgate’s Muslim community strengthens our office’s ability and determination to provide for their needs,” says Associate University Chaplain and Campus Rabbi Barry R. Baron, who begins his three-year term as university chaplain on July 1. “His commitments to pluralism and interfaith work will contribute directly to our continuing efforts to expand inclusivity, advance tolerance, and nurture Colgate’s larger sense of community.”