Help Put Bells in the Bell Tower

October 4, 2009
By Chris Richter


The Class of 1959 gave to the Alumni Association the above painting of the Bell Tower by Jimmy Craig Womble II ’95 of Morehead City. It hangs over a mantel in the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center’s ballroom. The gift is just the latest in a line of alumni activities involving the Bell Tower. Alumni in the 1920s and 1930s led efforts to construct the campus landmark as a memorial to 32 NC State students killed in World War I, but they didn’t raise enough money to build the 115-foot granite tower complete with the carillon and interior staircase.

Matt Robbins ’06, ’09 MA noticed the lack of bells a couple of years ago when he was researching campus architecture for his master’s thesis. “How can you have a Bell Tower without bells?” Robbins says. “We need to fix this.”

So he started the Finish the (Bell) Tower grassroots campaign and vows to realize the intentions of the Bell Tower’s designers.

The goal of the student-led campaign is to raise at least $1 million to add an interior staircase and to purchase, install and maintain a 54-bell carillon in the Bell Tower, which has used a speaker system to chime on the hour for more than a half-century.

If you’d like to contribute to the campaign, visit or send a check to The NC State Foundation, NC State University, Campus Box 7474, Raleigh, NC 27695-7474. Note that the contribution is for “Finish the (Bell) Tower Fund.”


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