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Dedication Ceremony Officially Opens New Stephens Chapel on Campus

October 29, 2020

Angelo State University today (Oct. 29) hosted a special on-site ceremony to mark the formal dedication and opening of the new Stephens Chapel located at 1965 S. Johnson St. near the center of the ASU campus.

The new chapel is named in honor of longtime ASU supporters F.L. “Steve” and Pollyanna Stephens. In recognition of the honorary naming, the Stephens fully funded construction of the chapel with a $1.925 million gift and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony in April 2019.

Ronnie Hawkins Jr. Ronnie Hawkins Jr.“It’s great that we can finally acknowledge the generosity of Steve and Pollyanna Stephens in person next to the chapel that bears their name,” said ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. “Their graciousness allowed us to construct this beautiful building that provides a safe and sacred place for the entire Ram Family right in the heart of our campus. This magnificent structure is a living testament to their commitment, support and friendship of ASU.”

“The Stephens Chapel is a wonderful addition to Angelo State,” Hawkins added, “and we look forward to the day when it can be filled to capacity for campus services, community weddings and other special events.”

ASU previously conducted a virtual opening for the Stephens Chapel on April 8 to offer a restful online space for peace and reflection during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That online space remains available, complete with videos and photos of the chapel, at angelo.edu/ramsrise/stephens-chapel.php.

At 3,100 square feet, the Stephens Chapel includes a portico, narthex, sanctuary, bride’s room, groom’s room/vesting, sacristy, restrooms and service areas. It has metal-framed, brick/stone-clad exterior walls and a metal roof. The finishes include stone tile flooring, interior brick walls, stained-glass windows, custom light fixtures, wood deck ceilings and custom pews.

This is the second ASU facility to be named for the Stephens, whose name also adorns the Stephens Arena inside the ASU Junell Center athletics facility on South Jackson Street.

(L-R) Jamie Akin, Mason Brooks, Sierra Brooks, Randy Brooks, Susan Brooks, Steve Stephens, Pollya...

(L-R) Jamie Akin, Mason Brooks, Sierra Brooks, Randy Brooks, Susan Brooks, Steve Stephens, Pollyanna Stephens, Devin Bates, Liz Bates, ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr., Maria Hawkins

Steve Stephens is the retired chairman, CEO and co-founder of Town & Country Food Stores Inc. One of the state’s most prominent businessmen, he has been recognized nationwide for his contributions to the convenience store industry. Pollyanna Stephens is the retired co-owner, board secretary, and director of public relations and special events for Town & Country Food Stores. She also served 12 years on the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System, including a term as chairman, when ASU belonged to the TSUS.

Over the years, the Stephens have made a dynamic pair and compiled a long and enviable record of public service at the community and statewide levels. Their business, civic, cultural and philanthropic efforts have touched the lives of virtually everyone in San Angelo. The ASU Alumni Association has designated them as “Honorary Alumni” and the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce has named them “Citizens of the Year.” In March 2008, they were each awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from ASU for their longstanding support of the university.

For more information, contact Jamie Akin, ASU vice president for development and alumni relations, at 325-942-2116 jamie.akin@angelo.edu.

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