Olivet to host service of "celebration and thanksgiving" for Centennial Chapel
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Bourbonnais, Illinois
Olivet Nazarene University will hold a dedication service for the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel Friday, October 29, at 10 A.M. on the Olivet campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

The service will feature the music of famed piano duet Nielson and Young, acclaimed soprano Shirley Close, alumni trio Promise, the Olivet orchestra, and a combined choir including more than 200 student singers. Paul Cunningham, general superintendent emeritus for the Church of the Nazarene, will deliver the morning's message.

"This will be a tremendous time of celebration and thanksgiving as we reflect on God's faithfulness throughout this project and His ongoing work in the life of the University," said John C. Bowling, University president.

Internal dimensions of Centennial Chapel total 58,599 square feet, and it has roughly three times the size footprint as Olivet's Weber Center (constructed in 2001). With 3,046 seats, its auditorium will be the largest in Kankakee County, allowing it to house the entire Olivet student body, faculty, and staff for chapel services (beginning in spring 2011), as well as host concerts and other community events.

Centennial Chapel is also home to a world-class pipe organ, the creation of Fratelli Ruffatti of Padua, Italy, one of the world's most distinguished pipe organ builders. It is an instrument of 125 ranks, including 75 ranks of Ruffatti wind-blown pipes and a digital component of 50 additional ranks from the Massachusetts firm of Marshall and Ogletree. The tonal design and stoplist equip Olivet Nazarene University's organ to perform the complete history of organ literature with authority and authenticity.

Construction of the chapel was made possible through the financial gifts of more than 1,200 individuals, churches, and organizations.

"When I consider the number of families who have invested their resources into this project, I can't help but stand in awe," said Brian Allen, vice president for Institutional Advancement. "We are truly blessed by an amazing group of people who believe in the work of Olivet. They know that the lives of our students will be forever changed because of what transpires in this Chapel."

Construction officially began for Centennial Chapel in June 2009, and original estimates for the timeline had completion set for December 31, 2010. Because of construction consistently running ahead of schedule, the dedication service is able to be held during Homecoming 2010 festivities.

Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication service.
--Olivet Nazarene University
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