Memorial Belltower is one of NC State’s most Hallowed Places, a reminder of the Wolfpack that has roamed these bricks for decades, and the Pack that will follow long into the future. Originally built to honor the alumni killed in World War I and now honoring everyone who has served and sacrificed in the military, the Memorial Belltower has become a symbol of strength, inspiration, connection and celebration, and a centerpiece for the Wolfpack community.
Now, Memorial Belltower at Henry Square is complete, and its new bells will be a marker of where our university began and our extraordinary future. We love watching our alumni pass the torch to the next generation, especially in their own families.
“Shortly after my nephew, Connor Gibbons (BA History 2019, MA Education 2021) was accepted to NC State I found a photo of my Dad, Edward Hollod (right), in front of the Memorial Belltower. The photo was dated March 1953. Dad was stationed at Fort Bragg during the Korean War and was discharged from the Army that month. Perhaps on his way home to Pennsylvania he and a friend toured Raleigh and NC State. In the same pack of photos were pictures taken at the State Capitol. We also found a Basketball program for a game State played against George Washington at this same time. I framed this and gave it to Connor (left). Dad never met his grandson, having passed away in 1982. So there is something very poignant and timeless about this connection between them at the NC State Memorial Belltower. I’ve followed the stories of the tower renovation and was gratified to see the improvements made to this icon of NC State. Best wishes for future success and ‘Go Pack’!” – David Hollod
The storied Memorial Belltower has seen engagements, graduations, victory celebrations and more. Your special moments continue to bolster the impact of this campus centerpiece. We added the bells, but you keep adding those memories, and we want to hear about them.
We encourage you to amplify your NC State experience by sharing your piece of the Memorial Belltower story. Take a peek below at some of the stories already submitted!
Shortly after my nephew, Connor Gibbons (BA History 2019, MA Education 2021) was accepted to NC State I found a photo of my Dad, Edward Hollod, in front of the Memorial Belltower. The photo was dated March 1953. Dad was stationed at Fort Bragg during the Korean War and was discharged from the Army that month. Perhaps on his way home to Pennsylvania he and a friend toured Raleigh and NC State. In the same pack of photos were pictures taken at the State Capitol. We also found a Basketball program for a game State played against George Washington at this same time. I framed this and gave it to Connor. Dad never met his grandson, having passed away in 1982. So there is something very poignant and timeless about this connection between them at the NC State Memorial Belltower. I’ve followed the stories of the tower renovation and was gratified to see the improvements made to this icon of NC State. Best wishes for future success and “Go Pack”! – David Hollod I’ve been in love with this school since the day I set foot on it. Since before then. I always knew I’d be a Wolfpack member someday, and it’s never been a doubt. I am now one semester away from completing my bachelor’s degree, and I am so proud. The day I received this ring and became another in a long list of alumni, it was just the greatest day ever. I will forever love NC State! – Suzanna Lee The Belltower has always been a sort of anchor for the campus to me. I came to NC State in 2009 and never left, graduating with a Masters in History and eventually becoming a librarian at the D. H. Hill Jr. Library. All that time, I’ve always tried to get out and enjoy the campus, and make a small “pilgrimage” to the Belltower. I remember during especially difficult times, which I think all students face at one time or another, it was comforting to sit in that little seat facing Hillsborough Street, feel the cool stone under my hands, and enjoy that sense of unchanging solidity. It always felt like an anchoring point in the middle of chaotic times, and I’m overjoyed to see the Belltower renovated. I can’t wait to visit it again and see the changes. The photo I’ve attached is from many years ago, looking back from Holladay Hall. – Shaun Bennett I loved my years learning at NCSU and have been lucky enough to also work here. I was elected to staff senate some years ago and as part of that, I was given the opportunity to have my class ring placed in with the those of the next graduating class. This is so special for our alumni too! It leaves you with the feeling of connection to all of those who have come before you and an appreciation for those we lost to war. We are truly one family united at NCSU. – Anne Crews I knew that I wanted to go to NCSU for my undergrad for as long as I can remember. I remember getting my acceptance letter in the mail in 2008. It was the most proud I’ve ever been of myself. I was going to be a part of the Wolfpack! I lived near the Belltower for my first two years of undergrad, and I have so many memories there. One of my favorite memories is when it was lit RED for a big Pack win! My friends and I would go eat a late night snack at the Belltower to celebrate. As a member of SAY and Teaching Fellows, I completed my BS in Mathematics and my BS in Secondary Mathematics Education in 2012. I spent six years serving as a secondary mathematics educator, and I can’t thank NC State enough for preparing me so well for that. As an alumni, I give every year to the Pack. But, I knew I wanted more. This past fall, I entered the PhD program for mathematics right back at home. This picture is from Packapalooza in Fall 2018. It marks such a sweet time for me. While things have changed drastically since I graduated from undergrad, NCSU will always be home. And that Belltower will always be lit RED for a celebration. I’m so happy to be here again. One year down, four more to go! I’m so excited that the Belltower is finally getting the bells it deserves! – Catie Acitelli My husband and I got engaged at the Belltower a little over 5 years ago! Both of us are NC state grads and huge NCSU fans! The Belltower has always been special to us- we would celebrate big wins as it was lit red, start every single Hillsborough hike at the tower, took many graduation photos there, and just have so many memories of it from our years at NC State. We first met on campus so when my husband decided he was ready to propose he knew it had to be on campus and the Belltower was the perfect spot! There happened to be someone that noticed what was going on that evening and snapped a few pictures of us. It was truly the surprise of my life and of course the Belltower now holds and even more special place in our hearts. You can’t see the actual tower in the attached photo but it’s obvious that’s where this engagement took place. – Marie Hopkins I loved how the campus provided such a beautiful environment to be at peace and feel like a safe, beautiful university. NC State has molded me into a completely different and grown person, and I owe everything that I am currently to it. Amidst all the study pressure, the Belltower just helped me enjoy my own university with so much pride and helped me relax and feel awesome about studying at NC State! – Kshitija Murudi Kayla will be a sophomore this fall… she is the 3rd daughter of my kids to attend NCSU!! – Denise Duxbury I have loved my experiences at NC State. Working as a photographer for the student newspaper Technician has allowed me to document my time at NC State and share my experiences with others. – Sarah Cochran As a freshman, new to the NC State campus, one of my earliest memories was being there for the memorial service for Coach Kay Yow at Reynolds Coliseum. After the memorial service, students, alumni, and fans gathered at the bell tower and placed gifts of flowers, cards, photos, candles, and more in memory of Coach Yow. This was one of the first times I realized how tight-knit the NC State family was. The Belltower served as a public place for the Wolfpack to grieve and to celebrate the life of one of the most respected coaches in all of college sport. – Graham Groseclose On January 17th, 2018, my wonderful fiancé and I got engaged at the Bell Tower in the midst of a snowstorm. Being a Meteorology major at NC State, the hectic weather was the perfect way to ask my sweetheart to spend the rest of her life with me. Both of us graduated from NC State last month and will start our lives together as NC State graduates. – Mackenzie King I graduated from NCSU in 1988; my older daughter, Alexa, graduated high school in June 2019. We spent the 2 years looking at colleges; our experience at NC State during our tour sold her completely on becoming a Wolfpacker. In addition to the tour provided by NCSU, we explored Reynolds Coliseum (among other locations) during our day. While in Reynolds, we ran into Dr. Thomas Stafford, who was a vice chancellor during my student days. Dr. Stafford not only gave us a personal tour of Reynolds, he allowed Alexa to unlock the Bell Tower before sharing the history of the Tower. Dr. Stafford also allowed us to play some musical notes from the Tower (using the building across from the Tower to broadcast). When we left Raleigh that day, my daughter had no doubt which school was her #1 choice. She enrolled fall of 2019, and I believe Dr. Stafford’s one-on-one time with us was the boost needed to show Alexa what NCSU was about — faculty who care and who are interested in you as a person. – Greg Russell The attached picture isn’t the greatest quality and looking back through the pictures it seems as though all the pictures are of poor quality but here is my story: I came to NC State for college in 2011 and met a girl in my freshman calculus class. I came to find out we had been born in the same town in western NC but her parents moved when she was 3. Fast forward a couple years. She and I decided to start a relationship. Fast forward an additional six years after both of us received undergraduate degrees and she got her master’s, I made the decision to ask her to marry me. I chose to surprise her at the Belltower because NC State is what brought us together. I am happy to say that as of February 2019 Hannah and I are engaged. – Andrew Church My first semester was coming to a close as campus anticipated the impending snowstorm just before exams would begin. The snow began to fall in the middle of the night, I woke early to go for a stroll in the untouched snow before the everyone else would be out and about. I walked from my dorm on Central Campus, through the Free Expression Tunnel, onto the Brickyard and eventually to the Court of Carolina. Snow was dumping out of the clouds and I was thrilled to enjoy such a fun winter wonderland. I eventually made it to the holy grail of NC State landmarks the ever iconic Memorial Belltower. I stood there for a while watching the snowflakes fly through the spotlights and swirl around the granite tower. After soaking in the view for a while I got to work making a tiny snowman. I collected three snowballs, a couple of twigs, and few acorns from the oak trees nearby. In no time, I had assembled my little friend, snapped a photo and went on my merry way. I was in a state of bliss, NC State finally felt like a home. – Robert Seevers I am now an alumna of NC State. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Sciences. NC State has always been a part of my family and it was somewhere I always knew I wanted to attend. My cousin and I laugh because we went from living half a mile apart back home to an even lesser amount apart here at NC State. But instead of fields of tobacco and cotton separating us, it was Dan Allen and Hillsborough Street, I would say that while NC State allows you to meet people that have similar backgrounds, this campus also challenges you to interact with those that come from completely different places. After leaving this campus I can say that my perspective has changed for the better and Raleigh will always be a second home as the memories I’ve made at NC State are those that I will cherish forever. – Olivia Adcox In January 2017, Talley Student Union was set to host the Governor’s Inaugural Ball. A major snow and ice storm derailed the plans, but Talley remained open for students. As the Operations Coordinator for NC State Student Centers, I stayed at the Aloft hotel on Hillsborough so that I could get to Talley every day. This was the view out of my hotel room window. In this particular shot you can also see the silhouette of Holladay Hall, the smoke stack, and even the tower at Talley far in the distance. – Allison van den Berg
You can submit your Belltower photo and story
here, or join the conversation on social media using #CampaignNCState. And, click here if you want to learn more about the history of the Memorial Belltower and the completion and restoration project.