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Middlebury's iconic Mead Chapel, shown here on a 1923 postcard, was dedicated on June 18, 1916.

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Video: Mead Chapel Turns 100

June 15, 2016

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Mead Chapel, perhaps the most iconic building on the Middlebury College campus, turns 100 this year. Built with the help of a $60,000 donation from former governor Dr. John Mead to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Middlebury in 1864, Mead Chapel was dedicated on June 18, 1916, and marked “the completion of two years’ work and its entrance into the history of Middlebury as a meeting place for religious worship by faculty and students.”

Mead Chapel has been part of every student’s experience for the past century, providing a community gathering place for convocations, lectures, concerts, baccalaureates, and countless other events.

In a new video featuring vintage photos and film clips from the College’s Special Collections and Archives, Professor Emeritus of History of Art and Architecture Glenn Andres tells the story of the beautiful building occupying the highest spot on campus.

For more information about the history of Mead Chapel, visit Special Collections’ blog posts, “Mead Chapel Centenary: Then and Now,” Part One and Part Two.


Today's students will never know the comeraderie of mid-morning daily Chapel followed by cinnamon toasted left -over rolls and breads from the Battell kitchen. I'll never forget.

by Mary Cummings N... (not verified)

I remember when my mom and I were on the traditional trip to visit colleges during my junior year in high school in Ohio -1958 - and arrived late on a Sunday afternoon. We read that there was a chapel service so decided to go. Was amazed to all of the students there in ski clothes with skis. Even though I didn't ski, I figured this would be a fun place to go to college! And, it was!

by Debby Elliott (not verified)

Great story on Mead Chapel! I loved being there in the summers and, of course, our graduation was held there. It has good bones and should stand for generations of students to come. Congratulations.

by Terri MA '85 S... (not verified)

My grandparents (Winford and Dorothy Heath, class of 1921) were the first "all-Middlebury" couple to be married in Mead Chapel, and I had the honor of being at a ceremony between my freshman and sophomore year at Middlebury dedicating a plaque to them (located in the back of the chapel) , as they had put aside a fund for the preservation of Mead Chapel. They were at the college when Mead Chapel was built, and ended up having two of their daughters marry fellow Middlebury students, one granddaughter (me) marry a fellow Midd student, and two other granddaughters
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(Amy and Nancy Gleason) get married in the chapel. I am proud to be wearing my grandmother's wedding ring which was first given to her in 1921, and which my father passed to my Middlebury grad husband at our wedding in 1987. Here's to the power of the chapel and of Middlebury tradition! Karen Heath
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by Karen Heath (not verified)

Around 1967, when I was ten years old, our family paid a visit to Middlebury, where my grandmother, Olga Averino, had been a guest artist in the French School and teacher in the Summer Music School in the 1930s. Besides visiting with her old friend Stephen Freeman, we also went to a Sunday morning service (in French), where a voice student of my grandmother's (Lotte somebody) was the organist. I had the treat of going into the bell tower with her to watch her play the bells. She practically jumped on the ropes to get those bells to ring
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with only minimal mechanics to help her. What a thrill for a boy of ten! And my grandmother was thrilled when I later attended the German School.
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by Nick Lasoff (not verified)

Delighted to find a place to participate online now that I have terminated my Facebook connection. Mead Chapel means everything to me,especially "THE STRENGTH OF THE HILLS..."since 1946.

by Mary Elizabeth ... (not verified)

Amazing story, Karen!!!

by Betty (not verified)

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