Collage of retro Chapman students and statue
Decades of Chapman Center Memories
Community reminisces about favorite Chapman moments as building prepares to reopen

Trinity University students and faculty have been making lasting memories at the Chapman Center for more than six decades.

The building, which first opened in 1964, has served as part of Trinity’s academic backbone. This fall, after a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Chapman Center will open its doors to a new generation of Tigers.

Now, straight from your fellow Trinity alumni and friends, read about a few of their favorite moments that have made Chapman a special place over the years. From classes and music lessons to meeting lifelong companions, this space has always served as a perfect place to create uniquely Trinity connections.

R. Douglas Brackenridge, Professor Emeritus, Religion

“I attended the dedication of Chapman and later had an office in Chapman when the Trinity religion department moved to the building. My memories were of how often the internal office structure of Chapman changed to accommodate curriculum changes. Also, the memory of seeing books being transferred on book carts from the Chapman Library to the new Coates Library in the early 1970s.”


Sarah Luginbill ’14, Adjunct Professor, History

“As a history major (2010-2014), I took many classes in Chapman with amazing professors who shaped my perception of history and teaching. When I returned to Trinity as an instructor in 2021, I found myself teaching in the same classrooms where I had such wonderful and influential memories.”


Kathy McNeill, Senior Director of Annual Giving Programs

“When I first started at Trinity in 2002, I visited with John Chapman ’49. He and I had worked together when I lived in Corpus, and I was delighted to learn that he was an alumnus and former Trustee of Trinity.

“I visited him later that year. He told me that when he was a student, his uncle called him. They were making plans to build the Chapman Center, and he was also going to commission an artist to create a statue to be placed in front of the building. He wanted John to pose for the artist. So John went and sat while the artist sketched out his face.”

Colage of retro Chapman interior and exterior shots


Peter A. Hatton Jr. ’87

“It’s where I learned the importance of studying philosophy with Dr. Luper and the importance of a great mentor in Dr. Murphy. And with current [Artificial Intelligence], I need to revive my ’83 thesis—‘Can a Machine Think!’”


Ann Zacharias Grosshans ’77

“I came with my undergrad friend so she could practice on the harpsichord (she was taking lessons). We had to get special permission to be there. It was so beautiful.”


Tommy Anderson ’90

“It was always one of those places with a distinctive smell that would prompt flashbacks whenever I went back!”

Collage of interior Chapman scenes


David Sapper ’92

“I wonder if the elevator door still closes so quickly.”


A.J. D'Ambra ’85

“We took the debut year of ‘The Human Quest’ (1981-82) in Chapman's auditorium.”


Martin Hajovsky ’87, P’22

“It’s where I met my wife in 1984!”


Don Byrnes ’60, M’66

“Watching it snow in the winter of 1966.”


Jeremiah Gerlach is the brand journalist for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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