Fundraising for Seabury Chapel

Built in 1959 soon after the establishment of ICU, Seabury Chapel bears the name of Ruth Isabel Seabury, a major contributor to the establishment of ICU, and was designed by W.M. Vories & Company Architects. It used to be known as a place for holding church services, weddings, and meetings. This fund aims to repair aging sections and revive Seabury Chapel as a gathering place.


  • Purpose of Donation: To renovate and preserve Seabury Memorial Chapel
  • Target: 8 million yen (50% of the AY 2018 renovation budget of 16 million yen)
  • Term of Donation Campaign: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (Term of Donation Starting from April 1, 2018)
  • Tax exemption for donation: For a resident in Japan, donations to ICU will be tax deductible.
  • Donor Recognition: The names of donors will be listed in the university magazine, the ICU, etc.

Help Us Revive Our Oasis 

  Seabury Chapel stands quietly amidst the trees to the west of the lawn in front of the Main Hall. Also known as the triangle chapel, the white building was named after Ruth Isabel Seabury, an educator and missionary who was a major contributor to the establishment of ICU. She sought to build a small chapel on campus where students could restore their peace of mind in quiet meditation away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Her idea won the support of the Danforth Foundation, which contributed 50 thousand dollars for the construction. Although Seabury passed away before the completion of the chapel in 1959, her legacy lived on.

In its heyday, the chapel was used for services, meetings, lectures with speakers including Arimasa Mori, Shusaku Endo, Rinzo Shiina, weddings and small concerts. Dorm residents frequently enjoyed a secluded moment there, as four students usually had to share a room in the dorms. The chapel provided an oasis of the mind with a moment of privacy. However, recent use of the 58-year-old chapel has been limited to the weekly Worship Night held by students, as decay in various parts of the structure does not make it an appropriate venue to invite guests from outside ICU.

 Together with the Diffendorfer Memorial Hall, the chapel is an extant legacy of W.M. Vories & Company Architects. Equilateral triangles are used in the outer framework and the interior ceiling, creating a modern and peaceful ambience. Spending time in this compact chapel provides a moment of quiet contemplation that enables one to come to grips with one’s real self which brings respect and tolerance for individual differences. This embodies the spirit of liberal arts at ICU in its respect for diversity. When alumni from the 16th class, commemorating 50 years from matriculation, started the drive for donations to save the chapel from disrepair, many others empathized with the move. We would be most grateful if you would join us in contributing to the restoration of the chapel.

Letter from the 16th Class Fund-Raising Representative

 (Old photos; Courtesy of ICU Archives and Special Collections)

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