Apart from Heinz Memorial Chapel’s vibrant and famous red doors, there is another reason this building may be recognizable—The University of Pittsburgh’s Lantern Night. It is one of the oldest traditions in which Pitt alumnae pass on the “Light of Learning” to Pitt’s newest students during a ceremony before the start of fall semester. Keeping in line with the values of the buildings founder, this symbolic act solidifies the importance of inclusivity in education.
Since Heinz Memorial Chapel was completed in 1934, various services have been held, but the chapel does not belong to any denomination. From its beginning the chapel was intended to be interdenominational adhering to the diverse makeup of students, staff, and the public.
Hayley Pontia is a student at The University of Pittsburgh who works as a freelancer for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through this blog series, she will share her unique perspective on our historic building and the surrounding architecture of nearby buildings in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.