History of the Knowles Memorial Chapel


The Annunciation 

Rollins College motto "Fiat Lux" is a phrase from the opening lines of the book of Genesis: "Let there be light." The motto is concretized through the imposing entrance to the chapel, which was the generous gift of Mrs. Frances Knowles Warren in memory of her father Francis Bangs Knowles. Francis Knowles was one of the several ardent men and women of the Congregational Church whose vision for the first college in the State of Florida resulted in Rollins College in 1885. Mr. Knowles was one of the founders and original trustees of Rollins College. Construction of the chapel was begun in March 1931 and it was dedicated March 19, 1932. At that time it was located in the center of the campus. 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.