Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Goddard Chapel, 1882
|Goddard Chapel, once called "the most photographed chapel in the country," was built in 1882 and officially dedicated in 1883.It was built to replace the Coolidge Room in Ballou Hall, which had served as the chapel up until that point. Goddard Chapel was large enough to accommodate the entire student body and faculty in one sitting for events.|
Attendance at the daily non-sectarian services was mandatory until 1907, when chapel was held three times a week until 1912.The college's president, who throughout the 19th century was an ordained clergyman, presided at all services, usually delivering a pulpit address on a moral, ethical, or community theme.
The chapel was designed by J. Philip Rinn in a modified Romanesque style. It is constructed of blue-gray slate quarried in Somerville with a red slate roof. At the time of its construction it was considered an architectural tour de force. The transept to the right of the pulpit was taken in 1960 for the offices of the University Chaplaincy. Money to build the chapel was donated in 1881 by Mary Goddard in honor of her late husband, Thomas A. Goddard, a trustee and early donor.
The stained glass windows in the chapel were designed by French artist Thomas Juglaris, with Rinn managing the color scheme and technique. Instead of painting on the glass, the colors were etched in, allowing more light to enter the building. The large window behind the pulpit was installed in honor of Thomas Goddard using gifts from Universalist laymen. It depicts St. Paul, wearing brown and blue robes, and contains a latin inscription from his epistles. This window was blown in and demolished by a storm in 1955, but was later restored and reinforced.
The window opposite, in the rear of the building, depicts St. John the Evangelist, and was built in memory of Hosea Ballou. On the west wall there is a stained glass window depicting St. Mark, dedicated to the Hon. Richard Frothingham, father of Mary A. Goddard. The "Palm Tree" window, also on the west side, is in honor of Oliver Dean, an early donor, and the simple window depicting a wreath of oak leaves is in honor of Charles Tufts and Sylvanius Packard. All of these windows were designed and completed by Rinn and Juglaris.
The three windows on the east side of the chapel also serve as memorials. The rear window on the east side memorializes Maud Russell Pitman, and simply depicts a small white lily. Close to the chancel area, a window depicting peasants sowing a field, probably inspired by a Jean Francois Millet painting, memorializes William Henry Goodrich, A1894. The final window was designed by the Alfred M. Bill company, and is in memory of Edward C. Parsons, a student who died while enrolled at Tufts. Installed in 1923, it is the newest of the stained glass windows.
In addition to the windows, there are a number of memorial busts and plaques throughout the chapel. These include a memorial tablet designed by Mary Stickney in honor of William Rollins Shipman, Tufts Professor of Rhetoric in the late 1800's, and a bronze bas relief of Charles Ernest Fay, a talented linguist and founder of the Department of Modern Languages, also the namesake of Mt. Fay in Canada. Also memorialized in Goddard are Newton Talbot, a trustee and treasurer of Tufts during the 1890's, Frederick Stark Pearson, A1883, who received the first honorary Doctor of Sciences from Tufts in 1900, Benjamin Graves Brown, who served as Tufts' first endowed chair, the Walker Professor of Mathematics, John Potter Marshall, a member of the original Tufts faculty who served as acting president after Ballou's death, Alonzo Ames Miner, second president of Tufts and namesake of Miner Hall, Edwin Hubbel Chapin, a strong early supporter of Tufts, and Elmer Hewitt Capen, third president of Tufts. Goddard also contains a marble bust of Hosea Ballou.
The original organ in Goddard was built by Hook and Hastings of Boston. The bells were donated in a series of gifts beginning in 1908.They ring daily at five o'clock in the afternoon and on special occasions. In 1952, lights to illuminate the tower at night were installed during celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Tufts.
As of 2000, Goddard Chapel is still used for Protestant and Catholic services. Once a week, it also plays host to a classical music concert, and it houses the acapella concert for incoming freshman each year at matriculation.