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Change Ringing

Join Us!

If you are interested in learning to ring the bells at the Mendenhall Bell Tower, please contact Hannah Durrant to arrange a visit. Visitors from other towers are welcome. Please contact us in advance to ensure that practices are being held.

Practice Times

Interterm and Spring 2023


Mondays and Wednesdays: 5:30–7:30 p.m. (tower bells)

Saturdays: 3:00–5:00 p.m. (handbells and silenced tower bells)

On the second Saturday of each month, there are quarter peal attempts from 3:00–6:00 p.m. instead of regular practice.

All practices are held at the Mendenhall Bell Tower and are open to new ringers and visitors. Come for an hour, or for the whole practice. Enter Mendenhall Performing Arts Center at the Berenson Studio across from Sage Hall. Accessing the ringing chamber requires climbing a short ladder.

If you wish to see the bells themselves, you can arrange to come a few minutes early or stay a few minutes late. This requires climbing a ladder up two floors higher from the ringing chamber.

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Change ringing is open to all who wish to ring the bells on campus and share their wonderful sounds on important Smith occasions. The band of ringers at Smith College includes Smith students, faculty, staff and alumnae, as well as members from the Five Colleges and the surrounding area.


Smith College Bells

Sarah Moriarty visiting the bells

The Smith College bells are cast in bronze, weigh between 300 and 980 pounds and are characterized by richness, dignity, and mellowness of tone. The bells are hung in a ring of 8 near the top of Mendenhall Bell Tower in the belfry.

Bell Weight Inscription Donation Information
Treble (A) 2-2-21 cwt
(301 lbs.) 22.75"
In honor of Marjorie Resnikoff Botwinik ’37 Donated by Mr. Norman T. Botwinik in honor of his wife
Second (G#) 3-0-17 cwt
(353 lbs.) 23.75"
I am Grace Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Third (F#) 3-1-16 cwt
(380 lbs.) 25"
To the joy of music, mathematics and memory Donated by Edward P. Hutchinson and his daughter Joan P. Hutchinson ’67 in honor of his wife and her mother, Louise Forbes Hutchinson ’36
Fourth (E) 4-0-16 cwt
(464 lbs.) 27"
I am Equity Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Fifth (D) 4-2-24 cwt
(528 lbs.) 28.75"
I am Diligence Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Sixth (C#) 5-0-25 cwt
(585 lbs.) 30"
I am Courage Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Seventh (B) 7-0-17 cwt
(801 lbs.) 33"
I am Blessed Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Tenor (A) 8-2-11 cwt
(963 lbs.) 36" *
*Per Dove's Guide. Elsewhere listed 8-3-0 cwt (980 lbs.)
Gaudeamus igitur juvenus dum sumus In memory of Margaret Nichols Shurcliff. Donated by members of her family and friends in the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers

Janet Carlile Harris also donated funds to strengthen the tower. Her sister, Dorothea Carlile 1922, died while a student and her mother, Florence Jeffrey Carlile 1893, was an original donor of the carillon in College Hall.