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Our Chapel Replicated

By Ann Zlotnik

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception is such an integral part of the University of Dayton campus that it has become a visual representation of the University in the university’s logo. The iconic sky blue dome symbolizes something different for everyone, but the Marianist heritage of the University of Dayton is at its core. With an invitation for all to step inside to celebrate Mass or take a quiet moment to reflect, it sits in the heart of campus — and on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. 

Wait. What?

The chapel’s mini doppelganger can be found in the popular Mirror of Hope in the Marian Library’s Crèche Museum on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. In 1996, the Marian Library commissioned artist Kevin Hanna to create a simple Nativity set. Over the next four years, the vision for the project grew. The result: 200 hand-painted clay figures visually depicting all of salvation history on a 12-foot-wide wooden structure. The installation begins with Adam and Eve, travels through the Old and New Testaments and ends with Jesus helping a crowd into heaven. 

The Mirror of Hope was installed on Oct. 12, 2000, to celebrate the new millennium and the 150th anniversary of the University of Dayton. Hanna placed his version of the chapel at the heart of the Mirror of Hope, ensuring that the celebration of UD and the Society of Mary will forever be a part of this timeless work of art.

— Ann Zlotnik designs print, digital and exhibit materials across the University Libraries while managing marketing, communication and websites specific to the Marian Library.

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