Alumni Chapel

636 Auditorium Road, East Lansing, MI 48824
Sales Office:
517-884-8124

Nestled upon the rolling, park-like lawns that slope gently down to the Red Cedar River, stands the picturesque Michigan State University Alumni Memorial Chapel. Thousands of MSU students and alumni have chosen the chapel for their wedding ceremonies since its dedication. At the MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel, we treat all ceremonies equally with the same care and reverence, and provide a setting appropriate for any faith. Accessories for various types of worship are available onsite. From weddings to memorial services, vow renewals to special ceremonies, the MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel is a beautiful and unique setting. 

History

The Alumni Chapel was only the second such building to be erected for a Big Ten school and was dedicated on June 7,1952 by MSU President John A. Hannah. Though Episcopal in design, the chapel remains interdenominational, serving as a spiritual center for all religions and faiths. MSU accepted more than 30 gracious gifts from generous alumni, mostly stones from European cathedrals, to underscore this non-sectarianism. Some of the stones are over 500 years old, and some were from bombed-out churches. Stones hailed from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and even from the White House. Stones also came from the ruins of a cathedral built by the Crusaders in Caesaria, the Roman capital of Palestine, and from a synagogue from Capernium, where Jesus Christ reportedly preached. These gifts were expressions of support for the interfaith nature of the chapel.

Carved into the chapel’s entrance wall are 487 names of those who served in wars and perished. The oldest names were from the Class of 1861, honoring students who died in the Civil War. 

Adding drama, color and light to the chapel are the 38 dramatic stained-glass windows, most of which are arranged in groups of three, or triptychs. The images on one side depict ideals of civilization: Work, Abundance and Community, and Freedom of the Mind. On the other side, the images tell the history of the university, including such milestones as Morrill Act of 1862, which established Michigan Agricultural College as the nation’s pioneer land-grant university. Other windows explore various sacred as well as secular themes. Overall, these depictions celebrate moral and educational goals of Michigan State University, including: the Liberal Arts, Farmers Institute, Engineering, Student Activities, Applied Science, Agriculture, Learning, Faith, Hope and Love, Religion, Science, Technology, Creativity, Aspiration, Art, Brotherhood, Diffusion of Knowledge, Dignity of the Individual, International Peace and Respect for Truth.

Learn more about the Alumni Memorial Chapel from MSU's Archives & Historical Collections.
Watch a special video sharing history of the Alumni Memorial Chapel

 

The Red Cedar Organ (Opus 134)
The MSU College of Music, in collaboration with MSU Residential and Hospitality Services, has worked with Letourneau Pipe Organs to design a versatile world-class organ to play wide-ranging literature associated with weddings, funerals and recitals. This spectacular new addition to an already stunning piece of campus history is versatile enough to play a wide literature associated with special ceremonies as well as function as a workable recital space for students and faculty. The organ was installed in 2020.

If you are interested in supporting the MSU Alumni Chapel new organ project, please contact the College of Music Development Office at (517) 353-9872 or make your gift online.

 

Weddings
To ensure a smooth, successful event, wedding parties will have access to the chapel only during their specific time block. This schedule should include all delivery and removal of any services, including floral. Also, all video and photographic services must take place within this time block.

Available Service Times:

  • Friday: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  |  2-5 p.m.  |  5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1-4 p.m.  |  4:30-7:30 p.m.

Note: Contact our sales office to discuss other service times that may be available with prior special arrangements. 

Rehearsal
The sales office will schedule your rehearsal at the time we book your chapel reservation. Rehearsals are an hour long and are typically held the day prior to your wedding. If you need to adjust the time after we schedule your rehearsal, the sales office must approve it in advance.

Chapel Amenities

  • Seating: The chapel comfortably seats 160 people and includes seventeen pews with a center aisle in the nave and six in the choir loft. 
  • Wheelchair accessibility via an exterior ramp. Seating is on the first floor with front pew modifications.
  • New Red Cedar Organ (Opus 134)
  • Access to two getting ready spaces to accommodate a bride and bridal party with space to relax before the ceremony.
  • Parking: Limited meter parking is available adjacent to the chapel. Located directly across from the chapel is a parking lot open to the public weekdays after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

A wedding taking place at the Union Chapel.

Photo courtesy of Allie Siarto Photography.