Seniors gifted with tower tours

From almost anywhere on campus, the Elliott Tower stands tall and noticeable. Now, thanks to the Senior Class Gift Committee and the Annual Giving department, seniors have the opportunity to witness a different view of the tower.

As part of the senior class gift, graduating students who make a gift of $20.15 or more to the senior class gift Fund prior to April 4 will be invited to climb the Elliott Tower. Students eligible to attend commencement in spring (March and June graduates) will be invited when they make the donation.

The climb is limited to undergrads through doctoral students who are eligible to graduate this spring, but those graduating in December 2015 or beyond will have a separate opportunity to climb Elliott Tower.

Once a student makes the donation and their graduated status is verified, they will receive a link to sign up for a date to make the climb. The climb is currently scheduled for dates between April 13 and 18, with final dates dependent on the number of students who donate.

Students who make a gift of $50 will receive an invite for a VIP reception in addition to the climb. This includes breakfast with Dennis Curry, who plays the bells, meeting other campus VIPs and a special extended tour of Elliott Tower.

Adrianne Penney, the Assistant Director of Annual Giving, said that the committee was inspired from the Elliott Tower dedication last September to come up with a way to honor the generosity of the Elliotts. The committee hopes to create a new tradition for donors around the structure that is special to the campus.

“I think everyone is curious about what it is like inside the Elliott Tower,” Penney said. “As far as I know, no other university in Michigan has a similar program, so it’s really a unique OU experience.”

This climb is expected to be in high demand and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since the tour was voted as the senior class gift and few students have climbed the Elliott Tower, this offer makes for an exciting and exclusive event.

“I like the fact that we get to be one of the first groups to go up into the clock tower,” senior Kelsey Kobylarek said. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting and rewarding experience.”

More information on the climb can be found at

Elliott Tower Info:

The largest bell weighs around 5,000 pounds and is five feet in diameter

Total weight of all 49 bells is over 30,000 pounds (over 15 tons)

The carillon bell tower will feature a full chromatic 49-bell carillon ranging from low C, which weighs around 5,000 pounds, to high C, at 24 pounds

The traditional hand-action instrument provides the complete musical range to play any musical composition

Twenty five of the bells will also have the capability of being played automatically

The clock on the Elliott Tower is approximately 9’6” in diameter while the tower stands at 151 feet tall

The minute hand from center of the clock to outside tip is 54 and ¾ inches long