Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Lightsey Chapel

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Institution Name: Charleston Southern University
Original/Historic Place Name: Lightsey Chapel
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1983-1985original construction Mitchell, Small, Donahue & Logan
Designer: Mitchell, Small, Donahue & Logan
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Postmodern (Glossary)
Significance: education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: pilings
Walls: masonry, brick, stucco
Roof: shingle
1985-present (2006)chapel
1985-present (2006)auditorium (seating for 1600)
1985-present (2006)academic department building (diverse musical and dramatic programs)

Charleston Southern University was founded in 1964 in accordance with the vision of South Carolina Baptists who believed the Low country needed an institute of higher learning that promoted "academic excellence in a Christian environment." CSU's founding principle, Matthew 28:19-20, and five life preparation concepts--values and ethics, communication, leadership, service, and wellness--are integral components in all programs of study.

Our campus master plan describes a physical environment that distinctively expresses our spiritual mission. The master plan envisions an academic community in which to nurture the mind and spirit. This plan uses the existing central feature of our campus, Lightsey Chapel and the Reflection Pond, to reflect such a place.

Lightsey Chapel hosts workshops, forums, and conferences that are designed to create a variety of learning opportunities that promote the development of Christian character. In addition, cultural events are plentiful at CSU, as Lightly Chapel hosts many diverse musical and dramatic performances throughout the year. The 1,600 seat auditorium, known for its superb acoustics, hosts performances for the Horton School of Music, which offers degrees in church music, music education, music therapy, and music performance.


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Council of Independent Colleges
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Last update: November 2006