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RG - 3.4: The Papers of the Chapel and the Student Christian Association of Gettysburg College

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Agency Sketch

In 1969, the Chaplain and all bodies which he oversaw reported to the Religious Provost, and had an almost direct link to the Board of Trustees. The Chaplain's Office was a separate agency of the College, apart from all other aspects of the Administration. By 1998, however, the Chapel no longer had the appearance of being its own entity, and is currently under the direct supervision of the Dean of the College, who reports to the President, and finally to the Board of Trustees. Many of the agencies now under the direct supervision of the Dean of the College involve Student Life and include: Counseling and Health Services, Residence Life, Academic Advising, Student Activities, Greek Organizations, and the Women's Center.

Brua Chapel, named for the parents of Lieutenant Colonel John P. Brua, was completed in 1890. By the 1950s, this structure was insufficient to meet the religious needs of the campus and Christ Chapel was constructed. Brua Chapel then became Brua Hall and a fine arts building.

Compulsory Chapel, a part of college life since 1832, was abandoned in 1960.

The Student Christian Association (SCA) was begun as the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in 1867. In 1916, the Woman's League began to raise funds for the construction now known as Weidensall Hall after Robert Weidensall, a leader of the YMCA and alumnus of the College. The construction of this building was completed in 1922. Sometimes referred to as the SCA building, this building offered activities such as a swimming pool and snack bar. Presently, this building houses the departments of History, Classics, Education, and Philosophy.

Over the years, the SCA was very involved in the life of the campus: through publishing the G-Book (a handbook for Freshmen); coordinating chapel services twice a week; organizing "Religious Emphasis Week"; and publishing Junto (a magazine expressing student opinions); in addition to many other permanent activities such as weekly meetings for fellowship and Bible study.

An administrative body within the Chaplain's Office was the Chapel Council. This body, formed in 1963, aided in weekly Chapel Services and other Chapel business and was composed of representatives from each class, as well as representatives from each denomination on campus and the SCA. In 1965, the SCA merged with the Chapel Council to become one body. From that point on, the organization was known merely as the Chapel Council until 1993 when it became known as Ministries at Christ Chapel (M.A.C.). M.A.C. existed until 1997 when it completely disbanded once Chaplain Donnella arrived. Much of the work formerly done by the Chapel Council is currently performed by the Center for Public Service.

Scope and Content Notes

The collection is divided into two Series. I. Student Christian Association and II. Chapel. Each Series is arranged into separate categories. SCA: Secretary, Treasurer, Publications, Reports, Events Sponsored by the SCA, Committees within the SCA, Photographs, and History. Chapel: Chapel Council, Bulletins/Publications, Reports, Photographs, Events Held in the Chapel, Events Sponsored by the Chapel, Chapel Choir, and History.

These Series consist primarily of the financial and administrative records of the two organizations, along with their histories and Constitutions. Also included are programs from events sponsored by each organization and publications published both by the organization itself and others.

Also helpful in finding Chapel and SCA related information are the following:

Board of Trustees Box 2
Board of Trustees 1970s Study-Z
Board of Trustees Box 1
Board of Trustees Meetings September 1989-Chaplain Search
Dean of the College 1956-57 R-S
Phi Sigma Kappa Box 5
Posters and Broadsides Box
Potpouri 1969-82
The Papers of the Office of the President of Gettysburg College Carl A.
Hanson Boxes 11, 12, 13, 26, 28, 40, and 41
The Papers of the Office of the President of Gettysburg College Henry W.
A. Hanson Boxes 8, 23, 28, and 31
The Papers of the Office of the President of Gettysburg College Walter C.
Langsam Boxes 2 and 3
Public Relations Pictures A-W Buildings
(Restricted) Business Office ca. 1950-75 S
Expansion Fund Campaign 1951-52
MS-012 Robert Weidensall
Any Edition of the Spectrum housed by the College Archives
Certain Issues of The Gettysburgian may also contain information
concerning specific events of the YMCA, Chapel, and SCA
The Woman's League was financially influential in the building
of Weidensall Hall so it may also be helpful to look in the
Woman's League Archives

Download Finding Aid - Adobe PDF (25 KB)

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