University of the Ozarks will hold a rededication ceremony for Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 16, following the most extensive renovation in the iconic landmark’s 83-year history.
The rededication service, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., is part of the university’s Alumni Weekend 2016. The ceremony will be followed by lunch in the Rogers Conference Center.
Munger-Wilson Chapel recently underwent a nine-month, $2.75 million renovation that was completed in December 2015. The project was funded with a gift from Frances E. Wilson of Tulsa, Okla., in memory of her late husband, Thomas D. Wilson. The university’s Board of Trustees voted in April 2014 to rename the chapel the Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel in honor of Wilson’s generosity.
The improvement project included a complete renovation of the 7,400-square-foot basement into a center for student spiritual development, new plumbing and electrical systems throughout the building, a complete interior paint job, refurbished stained glass in the chancel, new theatrical lighting and sound system, a new catering kitchen and waterproofing of the foundation walls.
As part of the project, the university also created the Frances E. and Thomas D. Wilson Family Plaza on the south side of the chapel. The new 9,000-square–foot plaza contains a 125-seat amphitheater, a gas fire pit and a labyrinth.
The university will hold a ribbon cutting and dedication for the new plaza immediately following the Chapel rededication ceremony.
The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Bohl of Naples, Fla., a 1958 Ozarks graduate and former moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, will provide the keynote message during the rededication service. The service will also feature the University Chamber Singers, U of O President Richard Dunsworth, university lead minister Rev. Dr. Robert Lowry and several former campus chaplains.
Munger Chapel was constructed during the height of the Great Depression in the early 1930s with what was then the largest donation ever to the college, a $75,000 gift from Miss Jesse Munger of Plainview, N.J. Munger donated the money for the chapel to further the college’s Presbyterian mission in higher education. She wanted it built in memory of her father, Raymond Munger, a New York businessman who was noted for his interest in religion and education.
The Chapel was originally dedicated on Feb. 8, 1933, in front of a larger gathering. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The public is invited to both the rededication ceremony and lunch and there is no charge for the lunch. Attendees are asked to RSVP by Friday, April 8, to Michelle Loving at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-1230.