21Country Update: Historic chime new centerpiece of Manchester University

Century-old bells restored and retuned for future students
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT
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NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (WPTA21) - The familiar sounds of the historic chime will soon ring across Manchester University once again. A freestanding tower was erected Thursday morning in the center of campus. It holds the original ten bells, and four new bells. Last year, they bells — which as a set, make up the chime — were removed from the university’s original administration building. It was demolished shortly after.

The chime was shipped off to The Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio to be restored and retuned. During that time, they also assembled the tower, and attached the refurbished bells to it. The cost of the project from start to finish, was around $750,000 — an amount completely covered by donors. The timing of the installation, is no coincidence.

“The bells have traditionally been one of the longest standing traditions for Manchester University,” VP of University Advancement Melanie Harmon told us. “It’s been around for 100 years. It’s part of our past, present, and certainly our future.” Harmon added, the project wasn’t only about preserving a piece of history, but also equipping it for generations to come. “Thanks to new technology, we now have a keyboard where the chime can be played electronically. It can also be pre-recorded, and then there’s also an opportunity for our chime players and faculty to be able to play the chime in practice.”

The century celebration, and official dedication is planned for October 22, during the university’s homecoming celebration.