The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M infielder Trinity Cannon (6) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Friday, May 24, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies a win away from Women’s College World Series after 6-5 victory over Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 24, 2024

Texas A&M softball experienced every inch of the pendulum of emotions in its NCAA Super Regional matchup with Texas on Friday, May 24, but...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Chapel gets a face-lift


Reflecting what the Division of Student Affairs calls a need for spiritual development facilities, All Faiths Chapel is receiving its first significant face-lift in 56 years.
The renovations, which began in May, will include repainting the Chapel’s interior, refinishing woodwork on the altar, replacing seating and carpet and adding new furniture to lounge areas and meditation rooms. The renovations are on schedule and expected to be completed by early July, said Neil Peltier, assistant director at the University Center & Special Events.
“A&M has prided itself on being a place where students can develop their mind, body and spirit,” Peltier said. “Certainly we have wonderful academic facilities, wonderful student facilities where people are able to develop their mind and body, but facilities for spiritual development were somewhat lacking.”
s the name suggests, Amber Hopkins, communications director for University Center & Special Events, said the Chapel is available regardless of religious affiliation and is used in a variety of ways including weddings and memorials although the majority of its use is faith based.
Peltier said he hopes students of all faiths take advantage of the soon-to-be renovated Chapel and use it as a venue for its intended purpose — to grow deeper in one’s faith.
Peltier said the idea to renovate the chapel was prompted by both the University Center & Special Events’ focus on updating facilities campus-wide and a written request from the Student Senate.
“So the two things were kind of happening concurrently,” Peltier said. “In our first walk through, we went to the Chapel. It still had original seating, the wall was very worn and old, there was a lot of damage to the wood and the paint was peeling. Just in general, it was not in condition that would be representative of Texas A&M.”
Tyler Owens, Class of 2014, former student senator and 2013 president of BYX (Brothers Under Christ) drafted the All Faiths Chapel bill that led to the submission of the written request. He said BYX used the Chapel space often.
“We really loved that place, it was a home for us and we knew that a ton of other organizations met there to go and study, to go and play piano and pray or do whatever it is that they do,” Owens said. “It is a very used building, even if it is by a smaller portion of the student body. For those of us that do use it, we really appreciate it.”
Although the Chapel’s renovations are primarily interior and cosmetic, with a significant contribution from the Association of Former Students, which originally donated the building, and a private donor, the scope of the project was expanded, Peltier said.
“Our goal for the renovations, much like the MSC, is to brighten up some of the spaces, bring some of the things up to code and to refresh the entire space, but still have it stay familiar-feeling,” Peltier said. “So very similar colors to all the original work in there. We want people that were married there 20, 30, 40 years ago to be able to come back and feel like that is where they got married.”
All Faiths Chapel is the product of a 1957 winning design in a competition held by the Association. The winner of this competition, the late Richard ‘Dik’ E. Vrooman, Class of 1952, and faculty member of 45 years, was known for his adherence to simple design principles, said David Woodcock, professor emeritus of Architecture at A&M and colleague of Vrooman at the time.
“I had the privilege of being a faculty colleague of Dik’s for some 24 years, and have a deep appreciation for his dedication to simple design principles, thoughtful use of materials, and understanding of the importance of the way light and space shape the human experience,” Woodcock said. “The All Faiths Chapel embodies all those qualities.”
Woodcock said cadets would use a small chapel in the Y.M.C.A. building, set on the upper level, which was active for many years until the chapel was discontinued after All Faiths Chapel was built.
“In the early days of the Institution, the cadets used to — there were dormitories along that whole military walk area, opposite the academic building prior to that of Old Main, and the cadets would fall out from their dormitories and march in together down to Sbisa Dining Hall for meals,” Woodcock said. “That was before Duncan was built and so they would pass that location. So the idea of that corner location for All Faiths, I think, is pretty significant.”
Woodcock said the chapel functioned as a location on campus that was designed as an accessible, contemplative space for students who needed access to quiet at any time of the day, as it does today.
“If you needed a place to just think about the world and be away from the hustle and bustle, like the Memorial Student Center or the classroom, or what have you,” Woodcock said. “The All Faiths Chapel would satisfy that need. It’s just a place of quiet.”

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *