Elmore McNeill McKee (1896-1984)

First University Chaplain and Pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale (1927-1930)

  • Yale College, bachelor of arts in divinity, class of 1919
  • Yale Divinity School, 1921
  • General Theological Seminary
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Berkeley Divinity School, 1927
Life Before Yale Chaplaincy
  • Enrolled in the Yale Reserve Officers’ Training Camp, eventually serving as first lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps during WWI
  • Assistant pastor of St. John’s Church in Waterbury, CT
  • Rector of St. Paul’s Church in New Haven
Key Contributions:
  • First full time pastor of the Church of Christ in Yale University (CCY), and subsequently the first University Chaplain at Yale
  • Established the practice of hospitality to students, guest preachers and the greater Yale community. McKee and his wife regularly held Sunday dinners in their home for ten to thirty students, hosting over 400 students in their home each year.
  • Organized a chapel committee comprised of students from all the undergraduate classes to regularly meet with faculty and graduate students. It was important to McKee that this committee did not only represent upperclassmen.
Fun Facts:
  • McKee was a member of Skull and Bones
  • He served as chairman of the Yale Daily News while an undergraduate
  • His dream was to build a chapel on Cross Campus
Life After Yale Chaplaincy:
  • In December 1930, Elmore McKee left Yale for a position in Buffalo, NY as the Rector at Trinity Church where we served until 1936