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Architects of Olivet’s Centennial Chapel receive prestigious award

Posted: Oct 30, 2012

Olivet's Centennial Chapel was dedicated in October 2010 as a gathering place for the Olivet community, and a venue for worship and cultural events.
BLDD Architects recently received a prestigious Solomon Award for their design of the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel.

“We congratulate BLDD for their outstanding work and winning this well-deserved recognition,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president.

WFX Solomon Awards is the leading annual national awards program recognizing church building design across the full spectrum of church sizes and styles. Award nominations are open to churches, architects, designers and builders.

Carson Durham, AIA, served as the architect and lead designer for the project. "We designed Centennial Chapel to function as both a worship facility and a performing arts center,” said Durham. “But its beautiful aesthetic and state-of-the-art acoustics have allowed this place to become the center of spiritual life for the campus, as well as a resource for the entire Olivet community and greater Kankakee area.”

Planned as a place for all students, faculty and staff of Olivet to come together, Centennial Chapel has become that and much more since its dedication in 2010. This 75,000-square-foot facility — with its 3,000-seat auditorium and 10,000-square-foot lobby-gathering space — has become the heartbeat of the University. Its location at the main entrance drive of the campus provides passersby with evidence that worship is a priority for the Olivet community.

“Centennial Chapel embodies our commitment to being both a community of learning and of faith,” said Dr. Bowling. “Exceeding our expectations, its reach goes far beyond the ONU campus. Its design and amenities have opened the door for some of today's most renowned spiritual, business, political and artistic leaders who offer instruction and inspiration for Olivetians and the regional community.”


Percentage of Olivet freshmen who achieved ACT composite scores of 30 or higher (4% achieve this nationally)