Bells Are Back
A bell hangs
in the Mendenhall Center tower.
On Rally Day, Wednesday,
Feb. 18, when you hear bells ringing around Mendenhall
Center, you’ll be witnessing a mini-return
The , a campus group that used
to ring the bells in the Mendenhall Center bell tower for
special college occasions, have regrouped after a 10-year
hiatus and will chime in on Rally Day. The Mendenhall bells
will ring for one hour, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., when the
convocation begins in John M. Greene Hall.
“Traditionally, bells are rung on special or ceremonial
occasions, such as weddings, funerals and inaugurations,” explains
Elizabeth Denne, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics,
a leader of the Smith Change Ringers. “The Smith ringers
hope to carry on this tradition by ringing at various Smith
When you hear the bells
on Rally Day, that means the Change Ringers will be busy
inside the Mendenhall bell tower, where eight bells hang,
with a rope attached to each. The bell ringers are assigned
to one bell at a time and, starting in sequence from highest
to lowest, they attempt to ring them in various permutations.
The process is challenging due to the bells’ mechanics.
So far this academic year, the Change Ringers have made
themselves heard on Mountain Day and Family Weekend, and
participated in Ringing for Peace on Dec. 20, a nationwide
collective bell ringing in memory of people killed during
terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
The revamped bell-ringing
group, also led Michael Bush, assistant professor of mathematics
and statistics, and Kirby Russell ’12, consists of 14 members—students,
staff and faculty, alumnae and others from the local community.
“Bell ringing is a very enjoyable activity that one
can participate in at almost any age,” explains Denne. “It
is a group activity where you work with others to accomplish
If you miss them on Rally Day, you can hear them again when
the Change Ringers perform during Commencement weekend.
It’s a tradition.