Goin’ to the Chapel

When Jonathan Marino (SESP06) wanted to impress Lauren Parnell (SESP07), he took her to the Alice Millar Chapel. “She didn’t know it was a date,” he says, “but I thought it was. We snuck in when it was empty and walked around.

“She loved the windows. I didn’t know it then, but she had already decided she wanted to get married at the chapel someday, mostly because of those windows.”

Parnell got her wish when the couple married at Alice Millar Chapel in June 2008.

There are on average 40 to 50 weddings a year — the record is 76 — at Alice Millar Chapel, typically at least one per weekend from spring through fall. (University Chaplain Timothy Stevens once performed five weddings in one weekend.) One of the partners in the marriage must be a graduate or otherwise affiliated with Northwestern to have a wedding at the chapel.

Jesse Jackson officiated a wedding in the chapel, and Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood fame was among the famous guests at chapel nuptials.

Many of weddings are interfaith affairs. “That’s a really wonderful aspect of the chapel in the life of the community,” says director of music Stephen Alltop. “Because we have people from all over the world, ceremonies that happen here reflect cultures the world over.” — S.H.

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