Emory Report

December 13, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 15

Robinson Clock Tower gets new face and bells with new name

The Robinson and Piedmont Foundations have honored Emory trustee emeritus Bill Robinson and his wife, Betty, by making a gift to name the University's clock tower and to install carillon bells that will chime music for the enjoyment of the campus community.

"The Bill and Betty Robinson Clock Tower, located at the heart of Emory's campus, will ring out with music during special periods of celebration, such as the first day of classes and Commencement," says William Fox, senior vice president of institutional advancement. "This wonderful gift will establish a tradition on Emory's campus for the entire community, including alumni and visitors."

Over the next eight months, four cast-bronze bells will be installed in Emory's Cox Hall clock tower. The sound of these bells will be enhanced by an electronic carillon that provides a wider musical range of notes and can be broadcast in live performances via a keyboard or played back through songs stored in memory.

A new clock face and timing mechanism also will be installed to ensure that the striking of the bells will be synchronized and sound at the appropriate time. These systems are expected to be placed within the University's existing clock tower by fall 2000, in time to herald the arrival of the new incoming class. The clock tower, located at Cox Hall, is not accessible to visitors.

Robinson, an Emory trustee from 1981-90 and chair of the investment committee for many years, is the former chairman of the John H. Harland Co. He has held many leadership positions within his industry, including president of both the Business Council of Georgia and the Financial Stationers Association, and director of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Representatives from University groups, including students, faculty, staff and trustees, worked together for the past year to obtain approval for the clock tower project, including providing for sound-reduction devices for the convenience of community members, hospital patients and neighbors. Campus representatives will continue to work together to make decisions regarding the programming of the bells, including how often they will chime and which musical selections that will be played. The Office of the Secretary will maintain the programming of the carillon system.

"My office has been charged with a pleasant responsibility in programming the music of the carillon, and I plan to solicit the advice of many people on campus about the kinds of music to play and the appropriate occasions for it," said Secretary Gary Hauk. "Clearly events like Commencement, the start of a new semester, inaugurations and other significant moments in the life of the campus will call for the best of Mozart, Charlie Parker and Doc Watson. I'm sure these are all available in bell arrangements."

-Nancy Seideman

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