Princeton Weekly Bulletin   May 5, 2008, Vol. 97, No. 26   prev   next   current

By the numbers

University Chapel history presented at new website

The University Chapel provides space for numerous chaplaincies and student organizations to gather for prayer, song and worship. Built in 1928, the chapel features various styles of Gothic architecture and medieval iconography. A new section of the Office of Religious Life website provides an in-depth look at the chapel’s history and architecture, and can be viewed at

• Highlighted on the website are the chapel’s intricate stained glass windows. The 45 windows total 10,000 square feet. On the north side of the chapel are windows dedicated to the life of Jesus Christ, culminating in the Great North Window of Martyrdom. On the south side are windows dedicated to the teachings of Christ, building up to the Great South Window of Truth.

• The website also features the history of other places of worship at the University. The prayer hall on the south side of Nassau Hall, where the Faculty Room is now located, was built in 1756 for the then College of New Jersey and is considered the University’s first chapel. When the college was first established in 1746 in Elizabeth, N.J., students met for prayer in the parsonage of the first college president, the Rev. Jonathan Dickinson.

• Self-guided audio tours of the chapel can be downloaded from the website as MP3 files. The tour covers Princeton’s religious history, the immediate historical context of the chapel, and the chapel’s interior and exterior architecture.

• A map of the chapel posted on the website helps visitors locate the stops on the audio tour. One notable stop is the Rothschild Arch located at the rear of the building, which is intended to symbolize the connection between faith (the chapel) and learning (Dickinson Hall, to which the chapel is attached).

• The website’s content was created by Matthew Milliner, a third-year graduate student in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Staff at the Educational Technologies Center worked on the site’s design.

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