PULLMAN, Wash. — The original bell that a century ago tolled the changing of classes at Washington State University is getting a facelift and a new address.
The victory bell is to be removed from the roof of College Hall Monday, March 16, at 8 a.m. After refurbishing, it will be installed later this year outside the west entrance of the Lewis Alumni Centre.
The project, estimated to cost $20,000, is being underwritten by the Class of 1948, which celebrates its Golden Grad Reunion this year. It also coincides with the WSU Alumni Association’s centennial observance.
The bell was forged in Minnesota in 1892, the year classes began at the Agricultural College, Experiment Station and School of Science of the State of Washington. It was installed on the roof of the original College Hall in 1893 and moved in 1909 to a site near Bryan Hall, adjacent to what is now designated “Hello Walk.”
Legend has it that the bell was first rung to celebrate a victory when the women’s basketball team recorded the first win ever over a University of Washington team in 1900.
Placed on the roof of the present College Hall in the 1930s, it was rung in victory celebration by members of the Intercollegiate Knights, a men’s service honorary, until about 1970. Safety concerns over the lack of a railing on the building’s roof caused the practice to be discontinued.
Ken Struckmeyer, horticulture and landscape architecture professor, is assisting with the design for improvements of the area where the bell will be placed.