Elliott Tower climb provides unique tour for seniors

Graduating seniors carried on the campus tradition started by last year’s inaugural Elliott Tower Climb, encouraging this annual event.


Friday, April 15 marked the second annual Elliott Climb, as members of the spring class of 2016 were given the opportunity to climb to the top of the clock tower.


As part of the Student Philanthropy Committee (SPC) Senior Class Gift program, graduating members of the senior class who donated $20.16 were invited to participate in an exclusive tour of Elliott Tower. Those who placed donations of $50 or more were invited on a VIP tour, complete with a continental breakfast and personal tour with Oakland University carilloner, Dennis Curry.


Curry is one of few individuals qualified to play the carillon, an instrument composed of at least 23 bronze-cast bells that are played together to form chords. The instrument is played by striking a large keyboard with batons, in combination with pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet.


The Elliott carillon contains 49 bronze-cast bells, which are part of the last set cast by Petit and Fritsen Royal Bellfoundry in the Netherlands. The heaviest of these bells weighs 5,000 pounds and contains the wristwatch of Hugh Elliott’s father.


The Senior Class Gift program is one of the SPC’s main efforts to provide scholarships for members of the next senior class with financial need.


“Today marks our second year holding the Elliott Climb, as well as our third class of graduating students to have this opportunity,” said Myles Harper, SPC leader. “We hope to give each graduating senior the chance to climb to the top and sign their name on their class poster for display on the second level of the tower.


This year the program raised $2,047, a significant increase from their total of $1,400 last spring, thanks to the 61 donors who participated. President Hynd also provided funds to the SPC in order to make it possible to provide two valuable scholarships for students in 2015.


Tours were given throughout the day, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and running to 8:00 p.m. for those who made arrangements at the table under the tower. Tour groups were limited to five individuals, as that is the maximum occupancy of the tower.


Those who traveled to the top were given the history of the tower and the carillon before receiving their 2016 senior class gift pin. Each pin was attached to a card displaying a message about Matilda Dodge Wilson and Alfred Wilson’s founding principles, as well as the philanthropic history of Oakland University.


For more information about ways to become involved with the Student Philanthropy Committee, or the SPC Senior Class Gift program, email[email protected] or contact graduate adviser, Blake Williams.