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Rowan LeCompte, 1881 Chapel stained-glass artist, dies at 88


Media Contact: Curtis Prather 
Tel: 703-461-1782 
Email: cprather@vts.edu

ALEXANDRIA, VA – It was announced last week the death of renowned stained-glass artisan Mr. Rowan Keith LeCompte, recipient of Virginia Theological Seminary’s 2011 Dean’s Cross. Mr. LeCompte died on Wednesday, February 12. He was 88.

When he was 16 years old, LeCompte was commissioned for the first of 45 windows (and six mosaic murals) for Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. His work can also be seen in some 50 other American churches and public buildings, including Virginia Theological Seminary, Episcopal cathedrals in Maryland and Wyoming, the chapels of Trinity College and Princeton University and the New York State Capitol at in Albany. He continued to design and paint in his studio in Virginia up until his death.

On December 11, 2011, LeCompte was presented by VTS the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society Award. Established in 2008, the award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”

The three windows in the Seminary’s collection designed by LeCompte and his wife Irene Matz LeCompte, depict scenes from the Passion of Christ and are titled: Peter’s Denial, The Crucifixion, and Jesus Carries His Cross. Using pieces of brilliantly colored glass in “jewel like” hues to depict these tragic scenes, these three windows were given to the Seminary by the class of 1929 in 1954, in memory of a classmate (Archie M. Quarrier) who had died during his middler year.

All three windows survived the 2010 fire which destroyed the 1881 Chapel. In early 2011, LeCompte returned to the VTS campus to inspect his work. The windows will be placed in the Oratory of the new Immanuel Chapel, now under construction and slated for completion in 2015.


Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Visit us online at www.vts.edu.
3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304  |  Phone: 703-370-6600 or 800-941-0083 | Employee Directory