Knowles Memorial Chapel


The Knowles Memorial Chapel boasts a rich history that stretches back almost a century.
Window to Wisdom

Window to Wisdom

Befitting a liberal arts college chapel, wisdom is the theme of this great circular window, which resides over the chapel's rear gallery.

The Rollins College motto "Fiat Lux" or "let there be light" is a phrase from the opening lines of the book of Genesis. The motto is concretized through the imposing entrance to the Knowles Memorial 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 on 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.