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The Founding Celebration — Founders Bell Ringing
The Founders Bell Ringing will be held on Thursday, February 20, at 10 a.m. in the Brown Ballroom. Selected faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others will ring the bell 163 times to mark the University’s years of existence.
The original Old Main Bell, located on the Illinois State University Quad, is one of the oldest pieces of University history that can be found on the campus. The bell was removed from Old Main, the first building built on the campus of what was then called Illinois State Normal University. Old Main was demolished in 1958; however, the bell has long remained a symbol of daily life to not only the campus, but also the surrounding community. Originally, it announced the time. In later years, the bell was rung for special occasions.
Today, ringing the replica Old Main Bell during the Founding Celebration provides the campus an opportunity to remember its rich heritage as the oldest public university in the state of Illinois. The still-rich tone that resonates from the bell is a tribute to the thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, and students who have made Illinois State University a leader in higher education and a hope for those who will follow in their footsteps, doing their part to continue to advance this grandest of enterprises.