PITTSBURG, Kan. — A tradition that began at PSU more than 20 years ago also continued. Since 2000, Pittsburg State grads, faculty, and alumni ring in some of their most important days with the University’s “Centennial Bell.”
“They actually receive a commemorative bell when they do it, so that they have that as a memento in memory of that, and of course we want their parents to take their picture or their families and take a video and tag us when they post it to their social media because we love seeing that and we hear the bell and we know it means new students are here,” said Heather Eckstein, Asst. Vice President, Student Success.
It’s all thanks to the classes of 1993 through 1996 who fundraised to put the tower in place – right between the Axe Library and the Carnie Smith Stadium. And each year, it symbolizes success for those reaching important milestones.
“It’s a recognition of an accomplishment. Students have access to come over here and ring it, but that’s actually what I think a really cool thing that we put in place in 2019 is that when our Freshman classes come in the summer to enroll, what we do is they get to ring it for the first time. So at the end of what we call our Cares Session, in June, they’ll come over here and ring it and then they’ll know when they, it’ll be the other bookend, they’ll come back when they graduate and get to ring it again,” said Dr. Howard Smith, Vice President, Academic Affairs.
Friday is graduation day for hundreds of PSU students who rang the bell, marking the special occasion.
“It was really cool to do because you know, I said I was a COVID grad so I didn’t get to do that in 2020. I remember doing it my Freshman year, we did it in the Freshmen Orientation Class. You know, they marched everyone around. So, getting to finally do it after 6 years later is like, ‘Woo hoo, I finally got to ring the bell at Pitt State!,” said Hanna Tasin, PSU Graduate ’22.