Campaign to restore Norton Chapel begun

Kevin Frisch, Keuka College
The iconic Norton Chapel at Keuka College is in need of over $80,000 of restoration work.

Keuka College Class of '71 seeks community partners to restore one of Keuka College’s signature structures. The Keuka Lake landmark is in line for some $80,000 in restorations.

KEUKA PARK — As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall, Keuka College’s Class of 1971 has decided to raise and donate funds to help restore a focal point on the campus: Norton Chapel.

The class gift will be used to replace the exterior wood on the four-story-high structure and paint the entire exterior fascia and the cross. The class also hopes to raise enough for power washing and waterproof-sealing of the exterior block wall. The Class has raised $54,000 toward its $80,000 goal.

“The Chapel is an iconic and historic landmark on the lake,” said Kay Ciganovic ’71, who is chairing the project along with classmate Nancy Clarkson ’71. “When we decided to help restore the Chapel for our Class gift, we were reminded that when this beautiful Chapel was built, not one nail was used on the interior construction!”

Nancy Clarkson and Kay Ciganovic, classmates of 1971, are leading an effort to raise more funds for restoration work on Norton Chapel. The cass has already raised $54,000 toward its $80,000 goal.

The Chapel, which seats 650, has been a focal point of the college since it was built in 1964.

“Norton Chapel played a major role in our lives as students,” recalled Ciganovic. “It was practically new when we came to campus in 1967. All our large events were held there: concerts, educational guest speakers, May Day and Baccalaureate programs, and our Sunday morning services.”

The chapel has been a focal point of keuka College since it was built in 1964.

Clarkson said she appreciates that the lakeside fixture is just as important to the greater community as it is to the College community.

“We realize the importance the Chapel has for local residents.,” she said. “I know many local residents who have been married, baptized their children, and have worshipped at the Chapel. I have also attended many professional events at the Chapel.”

Ciganovic and Clarkson were pleasantly surprised to learn that the Chapel was profiled in 2019 by The Atlantic magazine for its popularity as a wedding venue.

The Class of ’71 is inviting local residents to participate in the restoration effort. To recognize families and businesses that support the campaign, they plan to place an ad in the Chronicle-Express listing everyone’s name who contributes, no matter the amount. Because the work on the Chapel needs to be completed before the start of classes for the fall semester, the deadline for contributions is Aug. 15.

To contribute to the restoration campaign: -Visit and type in “Class of 71 50th Reunion Project” in the “other gift designation box.” List all your family members in that box as well!

Send checks payable to Keuka College with “Chapel Fund” written on the memo line to the College’s Office of Development, 141 Central Ave., Keuka Park, NY 14478. Be sure to include all of the names of your family on a separate piece of paper.

Kay and Nancy said their class thanks the community for its support while they were students, as well as their support for this project.