Stained Glass Windows
The great chancel window at the front of the chapel encompasses all of biblical theology in the themes of "Creation, Redemption, and Triumph." The splay of red at the top center of the window signifies the life-giving, self-sacrificing love of God. A descending dove (a white v-like figure) is the bearer of God's love to the earth.
The lower third of the window depicts the creation of the waters of the earth and marine life. The center third narrates story of redemption, beginning at the left in the garden of Eden where the serpent is coiled around the trunk of a tree. Two large human figures kneel with hands clasped and faces covered in shame and humiliation. They have turned their backs upon evil and have come under the light of the cross and the open hand of God at the center of the window. A band of green color across their waists represent their hope in Christ. Our eyes move toward the right, where we see "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world." To the left of the lamb's head is a stalk of wheat, symbol of the bread of Holy Communion.
The upper third of the window represents the creation of the heavens. A great circle of gold, accented with green and red represents the sun. To the left is a circle representing the moon.
At the right is a cross with orb, an historic symbol of the reign of Christ in the world. Double-lined intertwined ellipses, which span the center of the window, remind us that this chapel was constructed in the "atomic age."
The side windows of the nave are designed to signify the work of the university in response to the creation depicted in the chancel window. The windows are meant to be in dialogue with one another, as if to ask what each what each endeavor has to say to its neighbors. Black arcs span the side windows, representing the world in which the university does its work.
East Windows (left side, starting near the pulpit)
Two large figures in the center of the window evoke the work of mercy captured in the phrase "I was sick and you visited me." One represents a sick man with a skull, a reminder that the physician (the second figure) attends to us from birth to death and is the guardian of our physical life. Things to look for: a microscope, test tubes, and other lab equipment; the caduceus (a staff with two intertwined serpents).
LawA dove at the top symbolizes the spirit of the law. Under it at the top symbolizes the spirit of the law. Under it are placed the sword and scales of justice. In one scale are people's actions, good and bad, and also their hopes. In the other scale, outweighing the first are the love, glory, justice and mercy of God. In the center of the window two human figures illustrate the words of the Gospel of St. Matthew: "I was a prisoner and you came unto me." A centaur, symbol of evil, is slain by the sword of justice.
DiscoveryThis window celebrates human discovery in the natural world. A large central figure kneels amidst the elements of air, earth, fire and water. Above is a bird and balloon; below, a fish and bathysphere. Look for symbols of scientific measurement and the elliptical orbits of the atomic model.
The dove at the top of the window represents the Holy Spirit, guiding the hand of the writer. The four Evangelists are represented by the winged man (Matthew), the lion (Mark), the ox (Luke),and the eagle (John). Surrounding these we find that which writers and poets of all ages have sung in all languages and in all nations. Life is represented by a cross; death, by a skull. Men carrying grapes from the Promised Land represent Good, whereas Evil is indicated by a centaur spreading false lights. Look for a bird escaping from its cage, an image of passing from slavery into freedom.
At the top of the window is the lyre, symbol of the arts, lighting up the vivid colors of the painter's palette. The central figure evokes David composing psalms and playing the harp. Singers of a plain song make a crown around him, recalling the words of St. Paul: "...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3 : 1 6).
West Windows (right side, starting near the lectern)
Rays of light going in various directions indicate the exchange of trade throughout the world. An anchor symbolizes commerce, while the hook of a crane lifting a truck symbolizes agriculture and industry. Graphic lines indicate the stock market curve. Look for mathematical computations, a balance, fish caught for commerce, wheat mowed for bread, a plane, a boat, a train, a truck and a man carrying a sack on his back. A busy ant recalls Proverbs 6:6, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise."
A celebration of human exploration of the heavens. Surrounded by heavenly bodies, by stars, by satellites, by Telstar, and by rockets, is the sun. In the center an astronaut, supported by an angel, floats in space. Below, two magnets turning toward one another evoke the mystery of attraction. The lion symbolizes the courage of astronauts, the bull pays homage to the patience of scientists, the fish indicate the seeking of new life in space, and the scales suggest the equilibrium offered by the conquest of space.
At the top of the window, a dove rests on the Bible, God's communication with humanity through the Spirit. God also gives us the senses, depicted in eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Look for airplanes, radar, telephone, and television. An anemometer measures the direction and force of wind. The press is represented by a hand holding a pen, a camera, and a strip of film. At the bottom of the window, Noah in the ark evokes maritime communications.
At the top of the window is the Holy City, Jerusalem, the place where Judaism and Christianity took root. The eagle, holding thunderbolts of war and the olive branch of peace, symbolizes the state. Look for the ark of Noah and the cross (symbolizing Old and New Testaments). A hand holds a gavel and a piece of money, recalling Christ's words, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). At the bottom of the window is a family group, the basic unit of society. Over the family is an owl, symbol of wisdom and knowledge. Above this is the dome of the capitol, representing government. At the left the judicial power is represented by a sword and balances, and at the right an army is indicated by cannon and sword.
The Races of Humanity
In the background is the great luminous shadow of the Good Shepherd. At the top, the Lamb is carrying a cross and ruling the world. In the center of the window, five hands, representing the races of humanity, are interlaced in an imploring appeal for harmony. They are surrounded by the star of the Nativity. The star represents the five continents and is a reminder that Christ is revealed to all nations.
The great facade window over the front entrance is visible in color both day and night, though each period of the day gives a different effect to the window. This window offers an invitation to all: "Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest" (Matthew I 1:28). The Willet artist said of it, "We have tried to express this as a singing manifestation of God's kingdom in its highest form, stripped of all detail, that it may clearly affirm the Holy Trinity." From the top of the window is the creative hand of God. Immediately below is the all-inclusive Cross of Christ. The images are united in the immense wings of the Holy Spirit. The hand of God holds a perfect circle, symbol of the universe.