The Building

chapel at easter

chapel plaque

exterior of the building

A House of Prayer for All People

A large bustling university, crammed full of competing interests for the student’s time and attention, should have one facility which is apart from all others, a place where the soul may find quiet and repose—may be stimulated—or may just meditate. One’s character and personality cannot be fully developed unless his (or her) soul finds a purpose.

Foster McGaw, at the Service of Dedication Alice S. Millar Religious Center

The Center and its Chapel do not encourage retreat. They offer not an escape from life…but a new approach to life.

J. Roscoe Miller
University President, Service of Dedication


The Alice Millar Chapel and Religious Center

View a short documentary about the Alice Millar Chapel and Religious Center here.

The Alice Millar Chapel and Religious Center was a gift to Northwestern University of Mr. and Mrs. Foster G. McGaw. Mrs. McGaw was a graduate of Northwestern, and Mr. McGaw served for many years as a Trustee of the university. The bronze tablet in the narthex says of Alice Millar:

This Chapel and Religious Center, the gift to Northwestern University Mr. and Mrs. Foster G. McGaw, is dedicated to the loving memory of the late Alice S. Millar McGaw, the mother of Foster G. McGaw

The Building

The building houses two chapels: the Millar Chapel with 700 seats was named for Foster G. McGaw's mother and the Vail Chapel with 125 seats was named for Jeanne Vail, Mary Vail McGaw's daughter. The building is situated on land donated by Dr. William Parkes, an Evanston physician and former Northwestern trustee. An adjacent building, Parkes Hall, housing classrooms and the chaplain's office, completes the complex. The building also hosts other University functions such as concerts, lectures and recitals.