The 151-foot, 49 bell tower, which was donated by Hugh and Nancy Elliott, will include the Carillon Tower, a water fountain, garden and landscaping.
The tower is scheduled to be completed by September 2014 and will be constructed in the area between the Oakland Center, O’Dowd Hall and Kresge Library.
“The bell tower will forever be a symbol for Oakland University students to follow their dreams,” Vice Chair Richard Flynn said.
The family will be donating the $6.5 million as well as a cash charitable contribution equal to 10 percent of the total design and construction costs to establish an endowment for operations, maintenance and technology, according to BOT documents.
The Elliott family has made numerous contributions to Oakland in the past, including a $2 million donation to the Hugh and Nancy Elliott Hall of Business and Information Technology and the Nancy and Hugh Elliott room in the O’rena. They have also donated to scholarships, raised money for the Student Business Association and created the President’s Golf Invitational.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Nancy Elliott said. “I started this dream following my son who was playing golf and the bells were charming at Grand Valley State and I thought, ‘why doesn’t Oakland have this?’ Fortunately, I ran into (Vice President of Student Affairs) Mary Beth Snyder and we just coerced (Hugh) and he agreed. I can’t tell you how excited we are.”
Russi also sent out a campus-wide email thanking the Elliotts for their support.
“I am very pleased to announce that longtime and esteemed friends, Hugh and Nancy Elliott, have once again demonstrated their deep commitment to the success of Oakland University with a remarkable act of generosity,” he said in the email. “…This will enable Oakland University to join the ranks of prestigious universities across the globe that have honored a centuries-old tradition of constructing a carillon tower on campus.”