Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center dedicates new Krapf Interfaith Chapel
A new freestanding chapel on the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center provides a bright, welcoming and accessible space for emotional and spiritual care for people of all faiths. Today, University, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine leaders gathered with lead donors Di and Dallas Krapf, their family and friends, other chapel donors and members of the design and construction teams to dedicate the new Di and Dallas Krapf Interfaith Chapel. The new building is named in recognition of a $1 million commitment from the Krapfs.
“We are grateful for Di and Dallas Krapf’s generosity and vision to help us build this central space where we can continue to provide holistic support for patients and their loved ones, as well as our faculty, students and staff, according to their faith traditions,” said Deborah Berini, president of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “The Krapf Interfaith Chapel represents our ongoing commitment to honoring our common humanity and inspiring courage, comfort and hope.”
The new building, located in the James M. and Margaret V. Stine Foundation Courtyard behind the main entrance of Hershey Medical Center, replaces the previous interfaith chapel that opened near the first-floor surgical waiting area in 1995. Like the previous chapel, the Krapf Interfaith Chapel may be used for prayer, meditation, pastoral counsel, regular worship services such as weekly Catholic mass and Jumu’ah prayer, intimate family celebrations like weddings and baptisms, special recognition events and ceremonies and larger religious holy day observances. The chapel will be open at all times, and in and out of the chapel, the pastoral services team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide spiritual, emotional and sacramental support.
“The Krapf family has supported Pastoral Services for more than 20 years, enabling our team to provide thousands of hours of care and comfort for patients, families and staff throughout the hospital each year,” said David Simmons, director of Pastoral Services. “Di and Dallas’ commitment to building a new home for spiritual care solidifies their family legacy, strengthens our team’s work and establishes a beautiful space where patients, visitors and staff can center themselves and seek peace. We are all deeply grateful.”
In addition to their $1 million commitment to help build the Di and Dallas Krapf Interfaith Chapel, which is the couple’s largest single gift to Penn State, the Krapfs are the strongest individual supporters of Pastoral Services at Hershey Medical Center. As longtime Penn State philanthropists, the Krapfs have also made leadership gifts to support numerous scholarships, including the Dallas and Diane Krapf ROTC Outstanding Leadership and Service Scholarship, the LaunchBox and Knowledge Commons at Penn State Great Valley, Penn State Football, Penn State Baseball’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the Blue Band, Penn State Libraries, continuing education opportunities for veterans, THON and Four Diamonds.
“The medical team at Hershey Medical Center saved my dad’s life in 1992 after his snowmobile accident,” said Dallas Krapf. “But his recovery was long and difficult, and we relied on our faith and the support of the pastoral care staff to see us through. My mom was a devout Methodist, and she spent hours in the chapel when she wasn’t by my dad’s side. We will always be grateful for the extraordinary care our family received, and we are glad to provide this new interfaith chapel so other patients and families, as well as hospital staff, can find spiritual support in their time of need.”
The Krapfs’ commitment was part of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” the university’s campaign that concluded on June 30, 2022. Details about the campaign’s achievements, as well as the results from every Penn State college and campus, are available at greaterpennstate.psu.edu. Stories about philanthropy’s impact at the University can be found at raise.psu.edu.
What exactly does a hospital chaplain do every day? We spent 24 hours with our Pastoral Services team, and found them intimately involved with clinical care, counseling and serving as emergency conduits between doctors and families.
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