FIU Foundation News

Bells' $5 Million Gift to Build Interfaith Chapel

FIU’s rich diversity and global mix of students is reflected in a broad spectrum of spiritual traditions practiced throughout its community. Now, thanks to an extraordinary gift to the Next Horizon campaign, the university will have a dedicated place for spiritual exploration among people of all faiths.

A $5 million gift from philanthropists Trish and Dan Bell, announced at the campaign kickoff celebration on January 26, 2019, will help build a non-denominational chapel on campus. The chapel will serve as an interfaith gathering place for worship, contemplation, spiritual strengthening and mutual understanding.

Proposed plans are for the facility to hold up to 250 people and include meeting space for FIU’s interfaith community as well as those teaching spiritual/religious subjects.

Members of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors, Trish and Dan Bell are among South Florida’s most engaged supporters. For more than 30 years, they have helped the community through leadership and philanthropy, focusing on providing opportunities for underserved people and furnishing generous backing of the arts.

“Dan and I have always believed that a strong spiritual foundation, regardless of one’s faith and religion, is a critical ingredient in building a well-rounded and balanced life,” said Trish Bell. “When we discovered that there was no FIU chapel, we were sincerely thrilled to have this opportunity to play a significant role in helping to bring such a vibrant element to the life of this outstanding university.”

Added Dan Bell, “Trish and I hope that this chapel will quickly become a place where people of similar as well as vastly different religious traditions and beliefs can gather to celebrate and contemplate their faiths, and meaningfully connect with others.”

Said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg: “Creating this dedicated space for spiritual exercise and renewal at FIU will help us in our quest to continue to turn the impossible into the inevitable and in the process make the world a better place for our sons and daughters and others who follow in our footsteps.”