Clemson University officially welcomed its first campus chapel on Friday, Dec. 10. President Jim Clements joined family, friends, supporters and other University leaders in a special dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Samuel J. Cadden Chapel.
The venue — nestled between the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts and Strom Thurmond Institute — is named in memory of former Clemson student Sam Cadden, whose life was tragically cut short in the summer of 2015.
“This day was literally decades in the making, and I’m happy we were finally able to dedicate the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel,” Clements said before a crowd of hundreds. “This building will bring people together … and that’s part of Sam’s legacy.”
Building a chapel on Clemson’s campus quickly became a reality following a lead $1.5 million gift from Sam’s parents, Ken and Mary Cadden. Over the past few years, fundraising efforts were boosted through the naming of a memorial and reflection garden from Ashley Johnson (’89) and pillar donations from Charles and Susan Barker, Roy McCall (’53) and Melvin Younts.
Friday’s dedication concluded with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, social hour and self-guided tours.
“This was a bittersweet day,” Ken Cadden said. “We’re thankful for family, thankful for friends, thankful for a beautiful new campus chapel, and thankful for Sam.”
The ceremony also included remarks from two students who were members of the chapel committee during their time at Clemson — Davis Banks (’17) and Reynolds McLeod, a senior construction science and management major.
“Sam’s passing illuminated a void on Clemson’s campus,” Banks said. “We are so appreciative of the Cadden family’s tireless efforts to fill that void.”
Samuel J. Cadden Chapel will open to affiliated student and campus organizations in Spring 2022.