June 09, 2006

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Elegant Rooke Chapel.

By Lindsay Hitz

LEWISBURG, Pa. — 'Tis wedding season at Bucknell's Rooke Chapel.

Idyllically set on Moore Avenue, the Georgian colonial-style chapel has fulfilled the dreams of many young couples as an ideal wedding location. Between serving as a place for campus worship, lectures, and special events, Rooke Chapel is filled with wedding ceremonies throughout the year — especially summer.

Jeanne Hafer, assistant director in the office of Reservation, Information, and Conference Services, the office that handles wedding plans, says most of couples married in the chapel are Bucknell alumni or from the Lewisburg community. "There, too, are inquiries from guests who have attended previous weddings at Rooke," says Hafer.

Most people choose the 40-year-old chapel that was renovated in 2005 mainly for its beauty and peaceful qualities. "Rooke Chapel is very elegant, yet simplistic," Hafer says. Another factor in choosing the chapel, she says, is its "interdenominational quality" which can accommodate multiple religions.

Weddings are typically scheduled on Saturdays in the summer and are available during the academic year. Some are booked more than two years in advance and it is not unusual for couples to be turned down due to a lack of availability.

During the summer months, as many as three weddings are scheduled each Saturday. "The summer months are the most popular for weddings at Rooke," says Hafer. During the summer, the Terrace Room in the Elaine Langone Center and Larison Dining Hall are available for receptions as well.

Wedding parties average between 150 to 250 people and the associated commercial activities have a positive impact on the downtown economy of Lewisburg — from guest lodging and restaurants to florists and photographers. "Couples will most often use a local business from the florist down to the photographer," says Hafer.

Last year, when the chapel was closed for renovation, many local businesses saw their bottom lines hurt.

Through helping local businesses and fulfilling couples' dreams, the weddings at Rooke Chapel have created lasting memories, adding a unique touch to the Bucknell campus.

Dedicated in October 1965, the chapel is the gift of the late Robert L. Rooke, an alumnus of the Class of 1913 and a member of the University's Board of Trustees. The chapel is named in memory of Mr. Rooke's parents, Charles M. and Olive S. Rooke.

In addition to Rooke Chapel, weddings are also scheduled at Bucknell Hall.

Lindsay Hitz, a junior majoring in political science, is a Presidential Fellow in theOffice of Communications at Bucknell.

Posted June 9, 2006


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