Marquette University receives $1 million gift for St. Joan of Arc Chapel restoration

St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Marquette University's campus.

Marquette University has received a $1 million gift to support the $3 million restoration of its St. Joan of Arc Chapel.

The gift from the Winona, Minnesota-based Slaggie Family Foundation establishes an endowment dedicated to preserving the 600-year-old chapel’s medieval architecture, including the lintels, ceiling, flooring and roof. Marquette’s advancement department is continuing to raise the remaining capital funding for the project.

“St. Joan of Arc Chapel is a historical treasure and the spiritual centerpiece of our campus,” Marquette President Michael Lovell said. “I want to thank the Slaggie Family Foundation for ensuring that this unique and beloved prayerful space will inspire our students and the Marquette community long into the future.”

The chapel was originally built in France and reconstructed on the center of Marquette’s campus more than 55 years ago. It was first dedicated in 1966. The chapel’s original donors were Marc and Lillian Rojtman, who gifted the chapel itself.

In the spring of 2020, university leaders conducted a historic structure report aimed at conserving the chapel. In addition to the restoration work, the study calls improved accessibility, such as accommodating paths, surfaces and steps on the chapel grounds, which lead through the adjacent Marian Grotto.

“The values instilled in Catholic education and the importance of Catholic identity have always been ingrained in our family,” said Matthew Slaggie, a 2004 graduate from Marquette’s Diederich College of Communication, “It gives us a wonderful sense of pride knowing that the next generation will be able to experience this spiritual space.”

The foundation was established by Matthew Slaggie’s parents, Steve and Barbara.

Following several gift announcements during Lovell’s presidential address last week, Marquette is preparing to publicly launch its comprehensive fundraising campaign in April.

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