Emory eighteenth for
African Americans

Emory ranks eighteenth on a list of the fifty best colleges for African American students, according to Black Enterprise Magazine. Atlanta’s Morehouse College ranked first and Spelman College ranked third. Colleges were rated on black enrollment, graduation rates, and how well they prepared black students academically and socially.

Facilities employees honored

The Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers awarded its highest institutional honor—the APPA Award for Excellence—to Emory for its commitment to excellence in the field of educational facilities. Robert Hascall, chief facilities officer, accepted the award on behalf of Emory’s nearly 550 facilities employees.

CDC grant to encourage screening for colorectal cancer

Using a $2.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a team of researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health, the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Cancer Center, and Aetna, will encourage more people over fifty to be voluntarily screened for colorectal cancer, the second most common cause of cancer mortality.

Libraries receive national grant

Emory’s libraries have received a national leadership grant for $194,900, to be matched with an additional $115,786, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal funds for the nation’s museums and libraries. Also, the Digital Library Federation was awarded $292,456 for a research partnership with Emory and other universities.

New joint nursing program

Emory and Agnes Scott College are creating a joint five-year program for students who want to become nurses. Students would earn a bachelor of arts degree from Agnes Scott and a bachelor of science degree from Emory. The nursing school has started several new initiatives with the goal of expanding enrollment by 20 percent.

Honeycutt Chairs in Nursing

Professors Kathy Parker and Jo Ann Dalton have been named to the Edith F. Honeycutt Chairs at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The chairs were established in 1990 through an endowment from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta in honor of Edith Honeycutt ’39N, an oncology nurse and the Woodruff family’s nurse.

Emory Village roundabout: Better late than never?

Construction on the traffic roundabout at the busy Emory Village intersection of North Decatur Road, Dowman Drive, and Oxford Road will begin next year. Ironically, planners uncovered a 1960 rendering of a proposed roundabout in Emory Village almost identical to the one currently being developed.














































































































Rudolph’s legacy
The lasting impact of Cannon Chapel

As an Emory undergraduate, Joe King ’88C studied the life and work of architect Paul Rudolph in Judith Rohrer’s History of Modern Architecture course. One of the most prominent postwar Modernist architects, Rudolph designed creative and unpredictable buildings that appealed strongly to the senses.

Rohrer’s students enjoyed a benefit most of their counterparts at other universities did not: they could leave the classroom, walk a short distance, and experience one of Rudolph’s last works, the William R. Cannon Chapel, completed in 1981.

King admits that he was slow to appreciate this opportunity, even though the visually striking structure straddled a passage frequently used by students as a shortcut between classes. He says he passed through the open plaza beneath the chapel many times before he was struck by the building’s architectural significance.

But while serving Emory’s spiritual community as a student deacon, King ultimately had the time and opportunity to absorb the nuances of the chapel’s design. While observing the naturally illuminated surfaces and listening for the distinct quality of sound that rose from the pulpit, he came to the epiphany: “Buildings don’t just happen.” Such a brilliant envisioning of space, he realized, could only be executed by an individual with an exceptional understanding of materials and design.

“This building makes that so clear,” he says.

King’s veneration for Rudolph’s architectural vision may have begun with Cannon Chapel, but it did not end there. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history from Emory, King attended the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech, where he met fellow student Christopher Domin, another admirer of Rudolph. King and Domin went on to start separate architectural practices but remained close friends. Together, they published a book, Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), and brought a companion exhibition to museums across the country, including most recently to the Museum of Design Atlanta.

Angelyn Sanders Chandler ’57C, director of exhibitions at the Museum of Design, explains that the Atlanta incarnation of King’s Rudolph exhibition contains a component not included elsewhere–an exploration of Cannon Chapel.

“Joe King really wanted to do something special for Emory,” says Chandler. “That’s when we decided we would love to do something on Cannon Chapel. . . . This is the first time it will be shown. We will own that exhibit and want to share it with Emory.”

Cannon Chapel originally was conceived in 1975, when the Candler School of Theology purchased 220,000 books from the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. The school desperately needed a place to shelve this massive new collection, but it was decided that fundraising for a new chapel would be more lucrative than for “something boring like a library,” King explains.

Building a new chapel also allowed the theology school to reevaluate its needs for more space and better facilities to accommodate its ministerial training.

Paul Rudolph, who had served as chair of the School of Architecture at Yale from 1957 to 1965 and was nearing the end of his career, was contracted to renovate the old Durham Chapel into a library and to design the new Cannon Chapel. Rudolph’s father, Keener, was a member of Candler’s first graduating class in 1915.

Cannon Chapel is a building that inspires and encourages an exploration of spiritual space. In the years since its completion, the chapel has served Emory as a space for worship, weddings, and funerals, as well as performances and plays.

Rohrer, who has been teaching art history at Emory since 1988, admits that at first she thought the chapel “seemed a little industrial.” Rudolph’s work has often been subject to attack for being impractical and puzzling. But her skepticism of the building, Rohrer explains, has evolved into appreciation over time. The process was a slow revelation, much as it was for King. After attending different events at the chapel she has come to particularly admire the chapel’s versatility and use of space. She appreciates how the sanctuary, which accommodates large gatherings, can also be easily divided for “a more intimate space.”

Rohrer says that every year she makes the students in her 100-level Understanding Architecture course pick one building on campus that they love and one that they do not. “The chapel always shows up on both sides,” she says. Either way, “the building makes them think about what it is that they like or don’t like.”

Following the opening of their exhibit, King and Domin visited the Emory campus, and King returned to Rohrer’s classroom–this time as a lecturer on the work of the renowned architect. After class, King, Domin, and Rohrer gathered inside the chapel’s sanctuary. King strayed from the group and pointed to a corner of an upper-level wall.

“You see that light wrapping around the corner,” he says. Near the ceiling a wall glows, lit by a window hidden around the corner. Shaking his head, King contemplates the effect of light that Rudolph seems to have pulled around a corner.

“There is always something,” King says, “to animate the space in his building.”

Light beams through the windows in the ceiling, directly down to the pulpit. Vaults of varying sizes combine to form the chapel. King looks up, takes in the full 360-degree view of the series of rising cambers that make up the ceiling. “A pinwheel of space that rises up towards the sky.” He reiterates, “This doesn’t just happen.”

King and Domin have revealed how Cannon Chapel functions as a teaching chapel, inspires an appreciation of architectural mastery, and encourages the discovery of spiritual space. Despite the original opposition to the chapel’s construction, Cannon Chapel is a space that seems to pull people’s admiration in slowly, much the way Rudolph’s surreptitious light slips around the corner, from that window, just out of sight.–A.T.Y.




© 2005 Emory University