Rollins College Knowles Chapel,
Rollins College Knowles Memorial Chapel was a
generous gift of Mrs. Frances Knowles Warren in
memory of her father Francis Bangs Knowles.
Francis Knowles was one of the members of
the Congregational Church whose vision for
the first college in the State of Florida
resulted in Rollins College in 1885. Mr.
Knowles founded the college with a few other
colleagues over a hundred years ago in hopes
of spurring higher education throughout
The Knowles Memorial Chapel has stood as a
welcoming beacon for the campus for as long as
can be remembered. The Rollins College motto
"Fiat Lux" is concreted across the entrance to
the chapel. This phrase from the book of
Genesis, meaning let there be light, stands
proudly as a memorial to Francis Bangs Knowles.
The chapel began construction in late March 1931
and was completed around the same time, one year
later. The chapel was originally located around
the center of the campus back then, but was
relocated over the years to help preserve the
beauty and history of the chapel. The architect of the chapel was
the famous ecclesiastical architect, Ralph Adams
Cram of the firm of Cram and Ferguson of Boston.
Mr. Cram also designed the Church of St. John
the Divine in New York City and the chapel on
the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Of
the more then 75 churches that Mr. Cram designed
and built throughout his life, this chapel was
listed as being his favorite.
In recent years, a renovation funded by the
Warren Trusts focused on the Knowles Memorial
Chapel. For the first time in the 75 years since
the Chapel was built, it underwent a masonry
restoration. All the natural stone was restored
and damage to the stone and finishes was
repaired. Other renovations include exterior
paint, new lightning protection on the steeple
and addition of another restroom. Ground
lighting of the building will soon be installed.
Architects with the firms of ACI and Hanbury
Evans Wright Vlattas were consulted for the
The Knowles Memorial Chapel is the center point
for all religious services of the campus. The
Dean of the Chapel performs marriages, baptisms,
funerals and memorial services for members of
the Rollins community. He also coordinates a
wide variety of activities which provide an
of student life at the campus.
The Chapel provides pastoral and personal
counseling to staff and students, regardless of