Quincy landmark sparks new tradition for students on campus

The Quincy University bell has been on campus for almost 50 years, becoming a staple landmark for students walking back and forth from Francis Hall to their dorm. 

Originally erected in 1973, the bell was assembled in honor of a former student, Bill Scholten, who graduated in the class of 1966. 

Scholten was a popular student on campus who was heavily involved in the service organizations and was said to be a pioneer in student-led reform on campus.

Scholten was also a lead representative for the student body when it came to school spirit, coined as the unofficial pep rally leader for Quincy sports, and was also very involved in intramural sports hosted at the university.  

 Scholten was killed in an aviation accident in 1970, while training at an astronautical school. 

The bell’s purpose was to represent the happiness Scholten shared throughout his life and would be used as a landmark for students to come together and show school spirit. 

The bell is still a landmark that many current students know about, but the message of ringing the bell has changed throughout the years. The most popular reason for ringing it now is for students to alert the public of the great night they have had in town… while being intoxicated. 

Brendan Fahey, a junior at QU, has knowledge of this tradition by learning from his parents, who both graduated in the QU classes of ‘86 and ‘90.

“Back in the day they would head to Jed’s, which was called Larry’s back in their time and they would always come back and make a point to ring the bell and act almost like it was a ding, dong, ditch,” Fahey said. 

Fahey also approved of the positive impact having traditions tied to social life has on campus.

Current students also have a general concept of this new tradition, as sophomore Jayme Brain explains the “drunk bell” and how it has impacted his time on campus.

“I know lots of friends that have rang the bell, especially after a long night during the weekend. I don’t think a Saturday goes by where I don’t hear the bell at least once from my dorm,” Brain said. 

Although it’s starting to become a norm for most students to know about the bell, many transfer students and freshmen do not know the landmark and its current purpose. 

 Christian Czarny, transfer sophomore, has been on campus for almost a year was still unaware what the “drunk bell” meant. 

“I’ve heard the bell being rung before but never knew what it meant… I’m honestly surprised Quincy would have an ongoing tradition like that. They usually seem to be against most activities involving social life,” Czarny said. 

With campus being open to the public again, students can take time to appreciate the places in town that help make Quincy feel personal to everyone. 

Although the bell is now known for something other than its original intent, Scholten can still be proud of current students using his bell in a way that provides another type of school spirit on campus as well as helping carry on his legacy in town.

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