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 Center for Social Justice and Community Impact, which equips and inspires Wheaton students to become thoughtful advocates of justice and social change in a complex world. The center fosters passionate and informed political activism, creative approaches to social justice work, and respectful bi-partisan dialogue on issues of importance to our community, country and world through workshops, trainings, speakers, dialogues, film, art and spoken word events, and other programs. The Chapel also houses the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, which helps students in deepening connections to their own religious tradition and exploring spirituality in a broader sense. The center runs group meditation sessions each week and its staff support student-run clubs, such as Hillel (for Jewish Life), Christian Fellowship (Intervarsity) and the Muslim Student Association. 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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