The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

South College bell rings again after two years out of service

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Students appreciate the hourly reminder from South College’s bell.

Every hour, the sounds of a bell ringing fill the campus. But before this semester, the bell, perched atop South College, had hung silent for two years.

The bell stopped working prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“When the campus returned to a normal schedule, we decided to complete the repairs and return the bell to working condition,” Director of Facilities Operations Scott Kennedy wrote in an email.

The maintenance of the bell was completed in two days when the controller was replaced with a new unit at the beginning of this semester. The bell is now back to its normal working conditions, ringing hourly.

“We believe the bell was originally installed at South College in 1873,” Kennedy wrote

Students value hearing it on campus.

“I think it is special that Lafayette students across many decades have heard the bell ring, and it’s comforting to have something that can remind us, students, that we are a part of a shared history here at Lafayette,” Juliannie Ortega ‘23 said.

Some students were not aware that the bell is located in South College, attributing the hourly chime to Colton Chapel or other buildings on campus.

“I thought it was a church bell,” Kendal Davis ’26 said. “I wasn’t really sure where it was coming from, but I just heard it ring sometimes.”

Davis appreciates the bell’s consistent reminders to get to class.

“It’s always good to know when I am running late to Spanish,” Davis said. “Or if it’s lunchtime … but mostly when I am running late to Spanish, the bell will start ringing and I will have to start running … instead of leisurely waiting for the elevator.”

Generally, students either do not know that the bell was repaired, or even that it was broken in the first place. However, those who do know offer appreciation for its role in daily life at Lafayette.

“I think that what we can conclude is that there’s a lot of confusion about the bell,” Maya Nylund ’23 said. “It seems like … the bell is already becoming a time-honored tradition by the students.”

Jenny Davis ’26 contributed reporting.

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Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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