University Celebrates Completion of Kent R. Hance Chapel
Music filled the hall as a crowd of more than 250 celebrated the opening of Kent R. Hance Chapel by singing Texas Tech University’s alma mater, “The Matador Song.”
Sung a cappella — a Latin phrase meaning in the manner of the chapel — it was a fitting commemoration for a building designed to be a special place for Red Raiders to celebrate, reflect and remember on campus.
“The new chapel is a wonderful addition to our university,” said Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance, who was also the lead contributor for the project. “Not only is this going to be a special place for so many of our students, alumni and friends to enjoy, it also serves as a beautiful cornerstone to the Texas Tech campus.
With the completion of the Kent R. Hance Chapel, Texas Tech University has become the tenth university in the Big 12 Conference to have a chapel on campus. Officials expect the non-denominational space to be used for a variety of religious and non-religious services for people of all faiths such as weddings, memorial services and other events.
Located on the southeast corner of the Texas Tech University campus the Kent R. Hance Chapel between the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center and University Avenue, the 6,879-square-foot building features the campus’ signature Spanish Renaissance architecture complete with a tiled roof, decorative stone medallions and a campanario, or bell tower. Inside, 14 colorful stained glass windows and pendulant chandeliers illuminate the 250-seat main hall with configurable furniture and a gold-tinted, hand-plastered accent wall.
The main doors of the chapel, part of the system’s public art collection, feature sculpted metal panels hand-forged by artist Joe Barrington of Throckmorton, Texas.
More than half the funds for the more than $3.5 million project were donated by Hance, a former graduate and faculty member of Texas Tech University. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved the naming of the Kent R. Hance Chapel following a long-standing practice of honoring donors who contribute more than half the costs of a new building.
Hance donated additional funds for the bridal suite, which was named in honor of his sisters, Beth Hance Hodges and Linda Hance Karagas. He also honored his grandchildren with the donation of a clearstory stained glass window.
The remaining construction funds for the project were donated by the late Margaret Talkington, a longtime supporter of Texas Tech. The chapel’s campanario and bell are named in honor of Talkington and her husband, J.T. Talkington.
The main hall of the chapel is named for David H. Arrington, a businessman in the oil and gas industry in Midland, Texas, who contributed a $1 million gift. In total, more than $1.7 million in donations have been used to create an endowment that will provide for the preservation and administration of Hance Chapel in perpetuity.
Funding for the Kent R. Hance Chapel and the chapel endowment fund was provided entirely by private contributions. No taxpayer money was used to construct the chapel.
Reservations for Hance Chapel began soon after the announcement of the project. The first wedding was held on May 26 before construction completed on the exterior of the building.