The King of Homecoming Court will be start off Homecoming weekend by ringing the ceremonial bell after Friday’s Chapel. This is the second year in a row the event is occurring.
The bell was originally donated by B.C. Freddie Goetz Goodpasture, Mandy Goetz Myers and Marky Goetz Pace in 1980. From then on, bell ringing was an important tradition on campus. Freshmen would ring the bell continuously throughout Homecoming weekend, while the upperclassmen would try to stop the freshmen.
The bell ringing was cut short 10 years ago when the tradition escalated into acts of violence. Madeline Orr, junior convergence journalism major from North Richland Hills, is the vice president of the Student Alumni Association.
“Part of the tradition was that seniors would try to stop the freshmen from ringing the bell, like a game,” Orr said. “But one year it got really out of hand and I think someone ended up with a broken nose, and so they took the bell away all together.”
The bell had been moved various times over the years, but was found in storage last year and restored by Physical Resources. After it was restored, it was decided that the bell ringing traditions should to be brought back.
“The bell had been removed during various construction projects,” Tom Craig, director of student activities and productions, said. “It was rehung last year with the intention to restore some of our bell-ringing traditions.”
The tradition of crowning the King of Campus Court, which began last year, was one of the reasons why the ringing of the bell was brought back.
“Last year, when we created the King of Campus Court competition, we wanted some way to reward or honor the winner in addition to being grand marshal of the parade,” Orr said. “So we reinstated the bell and now, after the winner is announced and the king is crowned in Friday’s Homecoming Chapel, he proceeds outside to ring the bell and declare the start of Homecoming weekend.”
Craig said ringing the bell is thought to have a more symbolic meaning by welcoming back all alumni.
“Symbolically, the ringing of the bell calls people back to campus for Homecoming,” Craig said.