By Adam Meyer
There is a tradition on Quincy University’s campus that has a bigger meaning. On Quincy University’s campus there is a bell located outside the Health and Fitness Center and Brenner Library. The sound of its ring is notoriously heard at hours of dusk on weekends. But the ringing of it is more symbolic to the man who the bell is dedicated to, an alumni by the name of Bill Scholten.
“There were few students at Quincy University that were as universally popular as he was. He had one of those personalities that didn’t know strangers and everyone who met him wanted to hang out with him,” Fr. Bill Spencer said.
Spencer spent one year at school with Scholten, Spencer was a freshman when Scholten was a senior. Scholten was very involved on campus as well.
“Very involved in Circle K and other service organizations,” Spencer said,
Scholten graduated in 1966 a time where some colleges did not necessarily listen to its students, Scholten had the idea of preventing that concept.
“He was ahead of his time in some ways and was determined, with what was Quincy College at the time, to make the school listen to its students. This was all just ahead of all demonstrations of other big schools like Berkeley in California, Columbia in New York, and he made sure that the administration of Quincy University knew what the students were thinking,” Spencer said.
Scholten was not only a voice for the students but also a leader for them with school spirit.
“He was the guy who brought the drum to all of the Basketball games, and was the unofficial pep rally leader. He was the one who would fire up the crowd, and was very big on college spirit,” Spencer said.
With being such a big leader on campus Scholten would partake in intramural sports. Scholten would also bring together a group that consisted of students who did not normally get picked to be on a a team. This team would then be known as the Crispy Critters. This group is now not big on campus any longer.
After graduating he taught at Quincy University for a year and then enlisted in the Navy to where he became a pilot.
“He was killed off the coast of California, an aviation accident. What I was told is that there was a pin hole in his oxygen mask, he then passed out during an aviation maneuver. Two weeks before that he was accepted into astronaut training,” Spencer said.
At Quincy University Scholten made friends who treasured him and their memories of him so they decided to establish a monument in his honor. Thus creating the bell right outside of the Heath and Fitness Center and Brenner Library. The bell was chosen because Scholten’s friends believed that the sound of it would make people happy and saw it as a rallying point for students. Although there is a different tradition linked to the ringing of the bell it was originally established to be rung when Quincy University teams would win games and be used a symbol that would bring the campus together.