Celebration Event for Miller Chapel Set for Saturday, Aug. 31

August 7, 2019

Alumni and campus community invited to reminisce about special moments at Miller Chapel before Baylor University football’s season opener

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Aug. 7, 2019) – Before several new chapels were built on campus, Miller Chapel in the iconic Tidwell Bible Building served for decades as Baylor University’s primary sacred space – and the location for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Baylor weddings.

As the University prepares for the renovation of Tidwell, Baylor will hold an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, for members of the Baylor Family to celebrate their special connection to Miller Chapel ahead of Baylor football’s season opener at 6 p.m. in McLane Stadium. The event is free, and no RSVP or registration is needed.

The open house will provide an opportunity for alumni, students, faculty and staff to reminisce in the sacred space, decorated as it would be for a wedding or special event. A professional photographer will be at the event to capture memories of the day. Visitors also will learn more about future plans for the space.

During the Tidwell restoration, the current Miller Chapel space will be repurposed for faculty and administrative offices – currently spread throughout Tidwell’s 57,000 square feet – while maintaining Miller Chapel’s high ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows that will continue to shine along the length of the structure. A new prayer chapel will provide a breathtaking view of campus from the top floors of Tidwell that will be accessible by elevator for the first time in the building’s history.

In addition to marriage vows spoken and numerous special events in Miller Chapel, Tidwell Bible Building has served tens of thousands of Baylor students who have completed religion, philosophy, history, sociology, nursing, modern foreign language and sacred music classes in its classrooms. Today, Tidwell – dedicated in 1954 – remains home to the religion and history departments.

The restoration of Tidwell Bible Building is one of the University’s top priorities as part of the $1.1 billion Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign, which includes nearly $300 million in capital improvements to support Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan. On April 25, Baylor received a $15 million leadership gift from The Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kansas, to move the project forward.

A vital part of the renovation is the careful preservation of Tidwell’s architectural significance while revitalizing its ability to serve as a place of excellence in Christian higher education. In addition to Miller Chapel’s stained glass windows, the project will preserve the limestone carvings on Tidwell’s exterior that depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Tidwell’s Sunderland Academic Center will include small and large flexible classrooms to enhance teaching, greater accessibility and modern infrastructure to enable technology-enhanced learning, and group meeting and work spaces and graduate student workspace to facilitate greater engagement.

The renovation also addresses other important infrastructure needs, such as electrical wiring, plumbing, elevator service, and code and accessibility remediation.

Construction on Tidwell is expected to begin in late 2020. During construction, faculty offices will be relocated to the Cashion Academic Center while history and religion classes will be held in various buildings across campus. The restored Tidwell is expected to open in 2022.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.