History of Dimnent Memorial Chapel
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is the most prominent landmark on Hope College’s campus. The chapel is used as the location for The Gathering, weekly chapel and other all-college assemblies and convocations, and the ground floor contains classrooms.
The beautiful Gothic structure was completed in 1929 and dedicated as Hope Memorial Chapel. It was renamed Dimnent Memorial Chapel in 1959 to honor Dr. Edward D. Dimnent, the fifth president of Hope College, who spearheaded construction effort. The construction cost was $404,000. Dimnent was designed by the same architect who designed Graves Hall.
The cornerstone is engraved with the college motto, Spera in Deo: Hope in God.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel has some of the most impressive stained glass windows in Michigan. The glass was imported from France and Italy and constructed by the Hardy Payne Studios in Paterson, New Jersey, and installed during building construction.
The beautiful rose window, a gift from the Hope College Class of 1916 and constructed at a cost of $4,000, is located on the west wall above the balcony; it contains three rows of petals. A major preservation and restoration of the stained glass windows happened in 2000.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel houses a recently renovated 1928 four-manual Skinner organ and a 1970 Pels & van Leeuwen gallery organ.
- The chapel seats about 1,500, originally a stretch since the college only had 434 students in 1928–29
- Dimnent was the fourth chapel used by students for worship since 1857
- The chapel is approximately 170 feet long and 65 feet wide; the height of the tower on the southwest corner is 108 feet
- The hand-carved pulpit, constructed of solid rosewood, was made in the Reformed Church Industrial School in Katpoudi, India
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