Cole Memorial Chapel

Student Life

Cole Memorial Chapel holds a special place in college history as the setting for events such as Presidential Inaugurations and the annual senior class Honors Convocation, as well as being a beautiful venue for weddings. In the Chapel basement is the Office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility, which provides students with opportunities to explore their personal values, whether secular or religious. As the campus community service office, SSSR houses the Wheaton Tutoring Outreach Program, collaborates with clubs and theme houses to connect students with local service opportunities and supports faculty in creating mutually beneficial experiential learning opportunities that reinforce classroom learning while strengthening Wheaton’s relationship with neighboring communities. SSSR also supports social justice work and encourages dialogue on important issues by sponsoring guest speakers, community conversations, visiting artists and other programs. In addition to housing the SSSR Office, the Chapel basement is a gathering place for religious and spiritual groups such as the Interfaith Alliance, Hillel, Christian Fellowship and Wheaton’s Meditation Group. Behind the building is Chapel Field, a large green space used for various events and gatherings, including Wheaton’s annual celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. The chapel was built in 1917 and for many years was the location of commencement exercises. It was named for former college president and trustee the Rev. Samuel Valentine Cole.

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