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Memorial Chapel records

 Collection 0088-UA

Dedicated on October 6, 1952, the Memorial Chapel honors members of the University of Maryland community who lost their lives serving in the United States armed forces. Chaplains, who are appointed by their various denominations and religions, administer the chapel, which is non-denominational. The collection contains reports, statistics, calendars, publications, articles, correspondence (letters and emails), invoices, photographs, slides, blueprints, reservation forms, schedules, contracts, brochures, programs, meeting minutes, registers, and ledgers. The collection represents a wealth of information on the various denominations and faiths that are represented on the campus as well as on the functions held at the chapel and the activities of the chapel staff.


  • 1952-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1990

Use and Access to Collection

Materials of a sensitive nature, such as those containing personally identifiable information, are restricted for 75 years or the life of the individual and may by screened and removed by special collections staff. Please speak with a staff member if you believe that materials have been unnecessarily removed.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


6.50 Linear Feet (6.50 linear feet, 139 photographs, and 8 items)

6.50 Linear Feet

139 Photographs

8 Items

Scope and Content of Collection

The Memorial Chapel records date from 1952-2006 with the bulk of the material covering 1970-1990 and 2003-2005. The collection includes reports, computer punch cards, statistics, calendars, publications, correspondence (letters and emails), invoices, photographs, slides, blueprints, reservation forms, schedules, contracts, brochures, programs, meeting minutes, registers, ledgers and information on the various denominations and faiths that are represented on the campus.

Administrative History

In 1942, students at the University of Maryland campus began petitioning for the construction of an inter-denominational, memorial chapel on the College Park campus. The community at large became engaged, and as a result, on October 6, 1952 the university formally dedicated the Memorial Chapel. The chapel honors members of the University of Maryland community who lost their lives while serving in the United States armed forces. No state appropriations were used to build the chapel; support for the construction came from donations and gifts as well as from surplus university income.

Over the years, the chapel has continued to commemorate members of the university community who have lost their lives in the U.S. armed forces. A beautifully bound Roll of Honor, commonly known as the Memorial Book, lists the names of 209 students and alumni who graduated from the university between the years 1919 and 1950 and lost their lives during military service. The chapel's 1952 dedication ceremony included the display of this book. The book remained on display for nearly 50 years before being transferred to the University of Maryland for safe keeping. In addition to the Memorial Book, a Vietnam Memorial was constructed in 1988 on the south side of the chapel. There have been numerous Veterans' day services held at the chapel since it was built. A recent service on November 11, 2004 included a candlelight vigil in memory of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Currently, the chapel is non-denominational and has fourteen chaplains who are appointed by their various denominations and religions. Throughout its tenure on campus, it has been managed by a variety of people and departments. It was first managed under the Office of the President with the executive secretary for many years being Jim Youmans. It then transferred to the Conference and Visitor Services under Student Affairs with Nick Kovalakides being the Campus Visitor Advocate. It is now managed by the Campus Programs unit of the Stamp Student Union in the Division of Student Affairs, with Megan Dillard being the Chapel Coordinator.

Some interesting facts about the history of chapel: Henry Powel Hopkins was the architect for the chapel, and he also designed and made a complete silver communion set to be used in its services. The first funeral recorded was for UMCP Registrar Alma Prienkart, whose un-solved murder in 1954 was a shock to the community. In the wedding registers that were kept by the chapel, the first wedding to be listed was for Albert E. Statt and Helen Ann Bump on November 27, 1952. Additionally, there have been generous gifts made to the chapel. They include the Mollër Organ housed in the Main Chapel, the Carillonic Bells, the Memorial Garden, the above mentioned Communion Silver Set, some Brass Alter Pieces, an Embroidered Altar Cloth, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. This last item was built largely from the funds of a Mr. Thomas Pangborn of Hagerstown, MD who was a long time friend of the University.


The collection is organized in three series.

Series 1
Administrative Records
Series 2
Series 3

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries received Memorial Chapel records in two accessions. The first on March 6, 2002 from Julie Luce, then Chapel Coordinator and the second on June 30, 2006 from Megan Dillard, a later Chapel Coordinator.

Related Material

The University of Maryland Libraries holds other collections relating to the Memorial Chapel. Related materials can be found within the University Publications collection: UPUB C3, Campus Ministries and UPUB M32, Memorial Chapel as well as the processed and unprocessed portions of the Records of the President's Office.

For more information about the University of Maryland, Memorial Chapel, please visit their website.

Processing Information

The records have been placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Metallic paper clips, and other metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips over strips of acid-free paper. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper and discarded. Acid-free paper was interleaved between documents that appeared to be made of acidic paper. Duplicate copies of documents were also discarded. Binders were deconstructed with the records and their dividers placed within acid free folders. Copies were made of the front of folders that had information written on them, they were kept with the material from their folder

Photographs, slides, negatives and oversized material were removed from the records and placed in separate locations. Photographs, slides and negatives were placed within Mylar sleeves and oversized material was placed between acid free mats. Acid free separation sheets were left in the folders in place of these items. Copies were also kept with the original material.

Restricted documents have been pulled from their original folders and placed in separate folders so that patrons can view the files in which these documents are found. A sheet of acid-free paper with a brief notation denotes the original place of these restricted documents in the folders. Only the folders that contain the restricted documents are marked as restricted.

Guide to the Memorial Chapel records
Processed by Alicia Reinhardt.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742