Manchester chime tower
The chime tower stands in the center of the mall.
Photo by Dr. Katharine Ings

Students Sound Off on New Chime Tower

Aly Buffenbarger

After a long wait, Manchester’s chime tower was completed this fall, and students heard the bells echo throughout the campus for the first time. The tower was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the chimes. The opening ceremony was held during homecoming, Oct. 22. It was described—by students— as formal yet disorganized. Homecoming weekend was packed with multiple activities happening every hour, but the opening ceremony was advertised as a main event point of the day.

During the construction process, many students discussed what they believed the chime tower would look like. Now, after seeing the finished project, every student on campus has an opinion on how Manchester’s historic bells have been displayed. First year Charlotte Wilson spoke up about her opinion. “I definitely thought it took way too long to construct,” she said, “and it kind of looks unfinished.” After several interviews and passive conversations, it became clear that she shares this opinion with many other resident students.

However, some students have positive reactions to the chime tower. Dani Carlson adores it. They described the tower as a “beautiful centerpiece to the campus” and an “amazing place to sit and do homework with friends.” Overall, opinions on the tower’s looks and construction time are mixed.

The chime tower’s purpose was to create a new home for the historic chimes, which have been with the university for over a century. Now, the question is whether this tower was a good use of the chimes or if students believe they should have been displayed elsewhere. “It doesn’t feel like it was a good use of the chimes,” said Piper Spyrka, long-time campus resident. She believes the chimes could have been put on display in another building as tribute to Manchester’s history, but the chime tower was not the way to do it.

Aiden Britton, first year, backed up Spyrka’s statement. “There’s a historical section in the library, they could have put them there,” they said. Various other locations were discussed, such as Cordier or the Science Center, where the chimes may have looked less “out of place,” though they may not have been appropriate acoustically.

From discussing other places the chimes could be displayed to sharing opinions on how the tower turned out, students have been talking about the chimes a lot this semester. The new addition to campus will stand tall in the center of the mall for years to come. The historic chimes will greet potential students, new students and will cheer on graduates and alumni for their accomplishments.