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Dean Robert E. Cushman commissions a design study for a $2.1 million addition that is "contemporary in architectural character," and includes a 7,275 sq. ft. chapel to replace York Chapel.


Although a funding shortfall put plans for the new chapel on indefinite hold, New Divinity opens, more than doubling the school's size.


New programs under Dean L. Gregory Jones, including the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, Spiritual Formation, and Pulpit & Pew, create urgent space needs. York Chapel, which has served as worship space since 1930, serves alternately as a chapel and classroom. Students use lap boards for taking notes.


Groundbreaking for an addition is held Nov. 10 during Duke Divinity School’s 75th anniversary celebration. A $2 million gift from The Duke Endowment names the proposed chapel in honor of the late Bishop W. Kenneth Goodson.




Duke University’s Board of Trustees approves naming the addition in honor of the Rev. Hugh A. Westbrook D’70 (right), who with his wife, Carole Shields Westbrook, helped found the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and provided nearly $20 million to support a variety of projects at the school. The buildings known as New Divinity and Old Divinity are named in honor of the late Thomas A. Langford (left), former divinity school dean and university provost.


A March 23 luncheon in the new refectory celebrates the $22 million project and honors Hartman-Cox Architects, SKANSKA, which served as general contractor, and a multitude of sub-contractors, including Rugo Stone.

The 78th Closing Convocation on April 20 processes from a service of leave taking in York Chapel through the Westbrook Building’s Cloister Walk to Goodson Chapel.

The official dedication is set for Oct. 11 during 2005 Convocation & Pastors’ School (Oct. 10-12).

The numbers are one way to tell the story. The dream of a new chapel deferred for 40 years. An architect’s sketch tucking 53,000 square feet into a 36-degree slope at the heart of the university. Five years, 1,010 tons of Duke stone and 48 truckloads of Indiana limestone; 400,000 hours of labor over 520 days of construction. The new chapel rising from an imported Italian sandstone floor to a 55-foot ceiling. Gifts and pledges from nearly 500 alumni, faculty, staff, friends and foundations totaling $22 million.

Those numbers are accurate, the chronology factual. But Richard Lischer, Cleland professor of preaching, told the story best in his sermon for the school’s 75th anniversary on Nov. 10, 2001, just prior to groundbreaking on a sundappled afternoon raining brilliant autumn leaves:

“We build buildings in the audacious hope that there will be a people to come after us who will perfect us in the work of ministry. The completion we seek is that which we have, in some measure, already experienced in the company of Jesus Christ. Call it the communion of Saints, a sacred partnership we re-forge with our past and our future.”

"This is one of the most pleasant and fruitful jobs we’ve ever done." — Warren Cox, Hartman-Cox Architects

"This addition is a symbol of the divinity school’s vital place at the heart of Duke University."— Wes Brown, Associate Dean for External Relations

The story of the divinity school addition continues with photography and text, including a timeline tracing the initial dream for new worship space to the first worship service in the new Goodson Chapel on April 20, 2005.

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DIVINITY Online Edition :: Winter 2004 Volume 3 Number 2 Duke Divinity School