Chapel House History and Background Skip Navigation


Chapel House was the gift of a donor who wished to remain anonymous.
Chapel House covered in a fresh snow


In 1959, Chapel House was built on the Colgate campus with a gift from a donor who asked that her identity never be revealed.

"I am an old woman," she said, "and soon I shall be going over to the other side where I'll see all my friends. If I had done something for the Lord and added my name to it, I'd be ashamed to see them."


Chapel House belongs to and is administered by Colgate University. It operates on endowment funds, which must cover expenses without requiring any help from other university funds.

Additional gifts toward its programs are welcome, but they must be anonymous, in keeping with the pattern set by the original donor.


Chapel House opened its doors in 1959. The space was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and is an example of late international-style modernism.