Summerall Chapel Pipe Organ Project

The rebuilt organ will resemble this restoration by Cornel Zimmer installed at Statesboro First United Methodist Church in Georgia

The new pipe organ console in Summerall Chapel

As of summer 2016: $460,000 Committed THANK YOU to all who have donated to this project! We recognize you by name in the donor honor roll below.

Phase One of our project is complete, and the new console has been installed. The second phase of the rebuild is the installation of the first two sets of pipes. A set of the refurbished pipes are on display in Summerall Chapel to raise awareness and show progress of our efforts. The 2016 goal is to raise an additional $500,000 so the pipe restoration process can begin. If 5,000 individuals gave $100, we could raise these funds.

Major Donor Recognition: Those who donate $15,000 or more to the project have the opportunity to be recognized by name on new signage to be located on the south alcove wall of Summerall Chapel. Recognition can include individual donors, alumni clubs or classes and corporations or foundations.

For more information, please contact Laura Jordan at The Citadel Foundation, or (843) 953-9078 or Mackay Salley, at 336-317-2275 or 

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"I remember the sounds of the organ in that magnificent structure, sounds only a pipe organ can deliver, and I look forward to hearing them again." -  Mackay Salley '63

While sitting in Summerall Chapel during my 45th reunion memorial service, I realized that the rich, full and commanding tones that came from the pipe organ I remember as a cadet were not there. I asked Nancy Lefter, choral director and organist, about this and she told me the history of the pipe organ, that it last played in 1985, and that the present electronic organ was also beginning to fail.

When I brought this to the attention of fellow members of the Class of 1963, the class leadership agreed to include the organ project as part of our 50th reunion campaign. Our efforts got the first phase started to build a new console, with digital voicing versus pipes, which includes all of the stops, hardware, etc., necessary for the complete organ. This was an important and necessary step since the present digital organ was beginning to fail. This new digital organ will serve the needs of the chapel while additional funds are raised to complete the total restoration. The next phase of the project is to begin the restoration of the pipes, of which about 70% can be refurbished. An additional $1 Million will complete the pipe organ project.

Some have questioned the need for the pipe organ, especially with many other pressing financial needs at The Citadel. The pipe organ has always been an integral part of Summerall Chapel, and I am sure many of you remember those magnificent sounds that only a pipe organ can deliver. The chapel meant much to me in my life, and I am confident that I am not alone. Each year, a memorial service is held for those who have answered their final formation. They deserve the best service, and the pipe organ is what they remember when they were cadets. The cost to restore the organ to its former glory is very reasonable if everyone would answer the call to contribute. 
Thank you for your time and consideration,
G. Mackay Salley ’63

History and Costs:

In 2004, and again in 2011, several organ companies were interviewed, and one in particular stood out based on the company’s interest in the Summerall Chapel organ and on comparable organs it has built and rebuilt. The company selected, Cornell Zimmer Organ Builders, is located in North Carolina, who have an excellent reputation for their organs and for their service after installation. After making several visits to Charleston, Mr. Zimmer determined that about half of the existing pipes could be rebuilt. Preserving existing pipes is important not only to keep restoration costs down, but also because some of the pipes were given as memorials for alumni and friends of The Citadel. 

The company gave the committee a plan to accomplish the total restoration of the organ in three phases:

Phase 1: $300,000 to provide a complete console for the total restoration project.

Phase 2: $515,000 to provide pipes for four keyboards, wind chests/pipe drivers, blower rebuild and winding system.

Phase 3: $485,000 to provide enclosures, trompette militarie and antiphonal casework (exposed pipework) as well as a maintenance endowment to ensure upkeep and use of the organ in perpetuity.

Summerall Chapel is an ideal environment both visually and acoustically to have a superior organ that will be recognized throughout the country. The many programs at The Citadel, such as our chapel services, weddings, the extremely popular Cadet Christmas Candlelight program, class reunion services, and Spoleto Festival programs, deserve the best our college has to offer. Many of our cadets currently go off-campus for religious services, but knowing that the chapel has a beautifully restored organ that will be widely recognized throughout the country should encourage our students to stay on campus to worship.

Chapel Organ Timeline:

  • 1936: Summerall Chapel was built and a 34-rank pipe organ was designed to be worthy of the magnificent construction of our chapel.
  • 1949: Six ranks of pipes were added to the organ.
  • 1960: A new four-manual console was built.
  • 1965: Retaining thirty-six of the existing ranks, 28 new ranks of pipes were added, making the organ complete with 64 total ranks.
  • 1985: This magnificent organ that lasted about 50 years last played in 1985. Funds were not available to restore the pipe organ, so the decision was made to purchase an electronic organ until funds could be raised. That electronic organ is now in need of replacement.
  • 2005 - present: An effort has been underway to restore the pipe organ to its original grandeur.
Honor Roll of Donors
Primary Addressee
Mr. and 1LT Amanda Achterberg
BG and Mrs. F. Cecil Adams, Jr.
Mrs. Carroll Ahearn
Mr. and Mrs. Terrence J. Ahearn, J.D.
Mr. Dan P. Allen
LTC and Mrs. James M. Allen
Col. and Mrs. Jerris C. Anderson
Mr. and Mrs. W. Harold Arnold, Jr.
Ms. Sara J. Bagen
Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Bagnal, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Barnes
Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Barnes
Miss Eleanor J. Barnes
Mr. and Mrs. John M. Barnes, Jr.
Mr. Walter T. Barron, Jr.
Dr. Robert E. Baughn
Mr. Erwin H. Baumer
COL and Mrs. Mark A. Bebensee
Mr. James L. Bell
Chief and Mrs. James L. Belote
Mrs. Janet B. Belote
Mr. Alan W. Bentley
Col. and Mrs. Jeffrey C. Benton
MAJ and Mrs. John M. Berry
LTC and Mrs. David P. Beshlin
LTC and Mrs. Samuel W. Booher
Mrs. Patsy Bradley
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Bradley, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Brittingham
BG and Mrs. Ernest D. Brockman, Jr.
BG and Mrs. Ernest D. Brockman, Jr.
Capt. and Mrs. George W. Brodt
CAPT and Mrs. Terence H. Brown
Dr. and Mrs. F. Smith Bryant, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. H. Walter Carmony
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Carson, Jr.
MAJ and Mrs. Jennings C. Carte, II
Mr. and Mrs. Jack W. Chandler, III
Mr. and Mrs. Lambert E. Chandler, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Maitland S. Chase, III
Lt Col and Mrs. William B. Cheney, III
Dr. David T. Childress, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Eric C. Clark, III
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey B. Clark
Mr. and Mrs. Willis W. Clark, III
Mr. and Mrs. William J. Clark
Mr. and Mrs. Willis W. Clark, III
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin C. Clay
Ms. Adele R. Cleveland
Ms. Jean G. Cobb and Mr. Lawrence E. Gross
Results: (1 - 50) of 241