Chapel Has Seen Decades of Weddings

Greyhounds keep saying “I do” in Alumni Memorial Chapel

By Magazine Staff  |  Photographs provided courtesy of the featured couples

The campus rumor is that the wait list is so long that engaged couples need to reserve Alumni Memorial Chapel years in advance. That’s not quite true.

Still, Alumni Memorial Chapel is a popular place for Loyola alumni—and others with Loyola connections—to tie the knot.

Loyola’s marriage records, which are stored at the nearby Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, show that over the past 16 years as many as 86 couples in one year have chosen to get married in the Chapel. (Records before 1994 were not available.)

Loyola magazine invited couples married in the Chapel to share their wedding day photographs and memories.

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More than 40 years ago, one couple discovered they were breaking new ground with their request to get married in the Chapel. Steve Snyder, ’70, and Elaine Doyle Snyder, MSA ’69, wanted to get married in a Catholic church, but not in one of their Baltimore parishes. One church was too big; one was mauve. They felt drawn to the beauty of Loyola’s chapel, where the size was perfect for the number of guests they expected. They were also driven by another factor.

“It was the ’60s and we were being rebels. It wasn’t being done, so we did it,” said Steve. The couple approached Rev. James McAndrews, S.J., who had taught them philosophy, to ask him for help.

“It might be hard to imagine today, but back then this was no small undertaking,” said Steve. “There was tradition to uphold, after all. It had never been done. Fr. McAndrews made it happen.”

After securing permission for their July 19, 1970, wedding—which the Snyders were told was the first wedding in the Chapel—Fr. McAndrews met with the couple to prepare them for marriage. “I have no idea what other people go through for pre-Cana. For us it was a nice little collegial sit-down on the steps of the rectory.”

Today, the Snyders live in Urbana, Md., have two children and two grandchildren, and look forward to celebrating 41 years of marriage this summer. But it all began when Elaine caught Steve’s eye at a Loyola mixer, prompting him to show up unannounced the next weekend at a performance of a Greek tragedy at Mount Saint Agnes College.

“There’s Facebooking now,” Steve said. “In the old days, there was face-to-face time.”


Dana Conners Dalton, ’93, M.S. ’95, and Andy Dalton, ’95, MBA ’00, first exchanged phone numbers on the steps of Alumni Memorial Chapel in 1995. The recent graduates—who had met previously through their involvement in Project Mexico—fell into conversation after attending the 6 p.m. Sunday Mass together.

“We were just chatting, and we realized that we were working in the same town,” said Dana. The couple started dating shortly afterward. When the time came to plan their wedding, choosing the location was easy.

“We wanted to get married in the Loyola Chapel because Loyola, of course, is where we met and it’s a special place to us,” said Dana, who is now an assistant director in Loyola’s office of student activities. So on the first day of spring in 1998, the couple and their families and friends gathered in the Chapel for their wedding.

Dana had envisioned taking a photo of the newlyweds together on the spot where they exchanged phone numbers three years earlier, but it was raining and snowing so hard that the photographer had to find an alternative, posing the bride just inside the Chapel doors.

The Daltons often bring their daughters, Maia, 9, and Emma, 5, to Mass in the Chapel. “We always remind them that this is the place where Mom and Dad got married,” Dana said. “The other really beautiful connection is that Fr. Tim Brown not only married us but baptized our kids.” (Fr. Brown, S.J., now serves as Loyola’s special assistant to the president for mission integration.)


Thomas Grieves, ’77, and his fiancée, M. Carmen Velez, ’77, knew they wanted to be married in the Catholic Church. And, because the accounting majors had met at Loyola, they had their hearts set on a wedding in the Chapel. The problem was finding a priest to celebrate the Mass.

Thomas’ parish couldn’t spare a priest for a summer wedding, and Carmen’s parish priest didn’t want to make the trip from Baltimore’s Rosedale area. The Jesuit priests they knew at Loyola were going to be away at the time of their July 29, 1978, wedding.

“We met here, and we spent four years here,” Carmen said.

One day she found herself confiding in one of her colleagues, “We want to get married Catholic. We’re both Catholic. I just need a priest to do this.” Her friend suggested that she call a family friend, a priest at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Baltimore—the Rev. W. Francis Malooly. “He said, ‘No problem at all. I’d be honored to do that for you.’”

That warm, sunny day Fr. Malooly came to the Evergreen campus to celebrate the Mass with the
couple and their guests. Later Fr. Malooly—who is now Bishop of the Wilmington Diocese—also baptized the Grieves’ two children. But it is their wedding day that stands out in the couple’s minds.

“He came back from his vacation in Ocean City to be there,” Carmen said. “He was sunburned, I remember that.”


Richard Spigler, ’98, and Danielle Custance Spigler, ’98, met playing volleyball during freshman orientation, so they only spent one week apart during their four years at Loyola.

When the time came for the couple to make wedding plans, they didn’t look far for a church. The bride was from Connecticut and the groom was from Southern Maryland, so they felt Loyola was the perfect setting.

“It had been our home parish for four years,” Danielle said. Richard’s priest came from his hometown to celebrate with the couple and their guests. Because Danielle had sung in Loyola’s choir, she asked George Miller, ’76, associate director of Campus Ministry, to play the piano. “Loyola had been such a big part of our lives and part of our relationship.”

Besides, the couple had decided to live in Maryland. Their families and friends made the trip to Baltimore for the June 30, 2001, wedding. “A lot of people had not been to Baltimore. We had a nice long weekend celebrating with everybody,” said Danielle, who lives with Richard and their three children in Bel Air, Md.

Their wedding day was a typical summer day in Baltimore. “It was about 95 degrees. It was very hot. But it was beautiful, it was sunny, and one of my favorite pictures of us is from the bridge, and the photographer was down on Charles Street looking up at us,” she said.


As a student, Lara Morrell Kopf, ’05, remembers watching brides posing for photographs in front of Alumni Memorial Chapel. “More than a couple times, I found myself stopping and seeing this wedding going on,” she said.

So when Tom Kopf, ’06, wanted to ask Lara to marry him, he knew he had to plan accordingly so they could reserve the Chapel. “He made sure that he proposed in time for us to get on the calendar,” said Lara, whose father, Chris Morrell, Ph.D., is a professor of mathematical sciences at Loyola.

Tom is Catholic and Lara is Lutheran, and the computer science and mathematics majors felt the Chapel offered the perfect place for a Catholic ceremony in a setting that was important to both the bride and groom.

“The more we talked about it, we thought it was really important to get married at Loyola because that was the community that brought us together,” Lara said. Rev. Frank Haig, S.J., professor emeritus of physics, performed the ceremony, and he invited the pastor from Lara’s church to give a blessing.

On the day of their wedding, Lara was surprised to find they were running ahead of schedule. Since there is no waiting room for the bride in the Chapel, she waited in the limousine outside Donnelly Science Center. Once again, she found herself watching a wedding at Loyola—only this time it was hers.

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  • Posted by Suzanne | April 7, 2011

    Getting married at the Alumni Chapel was a dream come true. Definitely one of the best days of my life!

  • Posted by Jocelyn | April 7, 2011

    Loved our wedding at the Alumni Chapel. Looking forward to renewing our vows next year at the Valentine’s Day Vow Renewal!

  • Posted by Lori Del Genis | May 6, 2011

    What fabulous stories! I was at Loyola from 1986 – 1994 (class of ’90, MS ’94). I spent sooo many hours in the Chapel, serving as a Eucharistic Minister. The weddings were my favorite; I used to love seeing people posing for photos. It was so exciting and everyone looked *so* happy.

    In fact, seeing weddings at the Chapel helped inspire me to start my own business designing wedding gowns. I hope that someday I’ll get to create a gown for a fellow alum!

  • Posted by E. Barry Rice | May 14, 2011

    I really enjoyed the blurb and pictures of Lara and Tom Kopf in both the print and online edition of the April magazine. The both worked for me as students at Loyola and had computer workstations about 20 feet apart. I was clueless that they were even dating until I saw on Lara’s Facebook profile that they were “in a relationship.”

  • Posted by Darius@Wedding-Photographer | January 17, 2012

    Great gallery. I’ve just started my Wedding Photography business, so looking for inspiration for 2012

    Lovely story too

  • Posted by Anonymous | April 25, 2012

    I love Lara Morrell and Tom Kopf’s story. I got chills when I read the last line!


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