Learning about the architecture of Duke Chapel

Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors

Connecting Duke Chapel with the student body, Durham community, and world beyond

Duke Chapel Student Ambassadors is a select group of Duke undergraduate students from various academic backgrounds dedicated to inviting others into the story and sanctuary of Duke Chapel.  Student Ambassadors are trained to be Chapel Docents and commit to serving in this role for at least one year. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Caroline Horton at caroline.reed@duke.edu

Our Student Ambassadors

Andrew Raines 

Class of 2021
History Major, Greek Minor

“I really enjoy meeting people and sharing information about the chapel with visitors. Every encounter is a meaningful experience - some are even quite powerful. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue meeting new people and marveling at the beauty of the sacred space together with them… I also love all the various elements of the chapel. I greatly appreciate its collegiate gothic architecture, and I relish getting lost in the biblical stories enshrined in the windows. It is truly a worthy monument to salvation history.”

Harriet Caplin 

Class of 2023
Academic Interests: Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Sciences

“[The Duke Chapel Student Ambassador Program] is the perfect way to connect with and give back to the Duke community, learn more about our school's unique and rich history, and to further develop my academic passions… Community service and outreach has been a passion of mine throughout high school, and I [love] to act out this passion by introducing visitors to the beauty and history of the chapel.”

Helen Xiao 

Class of 2023
Academic Interests: Electrical and Computer Engineering

“I’m fascinated to see how the engineers of the 1930s managed to bring the chapel to life… I want to understand the mathematics and physics behind the many intricate parts of the chapel, from the high ceilings, to the incorporation of the stained glass windows, to the many arches along the sides. The chapel gives me the opportunity to study a real engineering feat, and DSCA is a unique way of getting hands-on experience in the field.”

Kyrsten Pringle  

Class of 2023
Academic Interests: Public Policy, Art History, Chinese

“Not only is our chapel beautiful, it is fascinating! I took an Art History course in high school and fell in love with art; being able to lead a tour about the art and architecture of our wonderful chapel [is] so fun and rewarding! As a Christian, I am also interested in learning more about the religious motifs of our Chapel.”

 

Preetha Ramachandran  

Class of 2023
Academic Interests: Neuroscience, Public Policy

“I often find myself sitting in the Chapel (and bringing my friends with me) simply to experience the beauty and stillness within. The beauty of this school (and the Chapel in particular) is a big part of the reason why I matriculated to this university. As a student ambassador, I hope to share my affection for the Chapel with everyone who comes to visit.”

 

Sam Reynoldson  

Class of 2023
Academic Interests: Public Policy, Economics, Environmental Science

“[The Duke Chapel Student Ambassador program] is a great opportunity to give back to the church [and] to learn more about the Chapel. I hope to come away with a greater appreciation for the Chapel, but most importantly, I hope the people I give tours to come away with an appreciation for such a special place.”

 

Thomas Murphy  

Class of 2022
Academic Interests: Biology, History, Russian

“I feel that, as a student of Duke University and a member of its community, it is my duty to educate myself further about this centerpiece of our campus, and to help in passing along that education to all who are willing to listen…. As a practicing Christian, the Chapel is captivating in terms of its religious importance; likewise, as a musician, I find its position as a place for performance fascinating. The topic that holds the most interest for me, however, is the history of the Chapel; how and when it was built, and to what purpose. The stunning Gothic architecture built of local North Carolina stone, the beautiful stained glass that reminds one of its inspirations in Europe, the distinctive tower visible for miles, the timeless carillon that echoes all throughout West Campus; all of these things were deliberately and painstakingly brought together here, to create a place of worship that would be the crown jewel of Duke's campus. That process, and that motivation, is what truly captures my attention.”