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May 27 2011

Bell Tower Exhibit!

contributed by Rachel Trent

What’s 2,100 tons, 115 feet high, and granite and concrete all over? Why, the NC State Memorial Belltower, of course. You can find a fantastic new exhibit in the atrium of Withers Hall titled “Remembering the Memorial Belltower: The Many Faces of a Campus Icon.” The exhibit was put together by graduate students in the Public History program’s Advanced Museology class and coordinated by Special Collection’s very own blogger-extraordinaire Samantha Rich.

The exhibit, which features objects on loan from Special Collections, highlights the tower’s evolution—both physical and symbolic—since its inception as a monument to the thirty-four NC State alumni who died in the First World War. The tower’s construction, begun in 1921, was haltingly completed over the next twenty-eight years and finally finished with a formal dedication on November 11, 1949.

Today, the tower is many things: a symbol of the entire campus community, a starting and ending point for the Krispy Kreme Challenge, a spot for graduating seniors to pose for photos, and the site at which ROTC cadets receive their commissions. Make a trip down to Withers to catch the exhibit and learn about all the other things the tower has been over its ninety years! The exhibit will be on display through August 25th!