University of Rochester

After Words

University History

A Bell for All Seasons

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OPENING BELL: Nowadays if you want to get the attention of students to let them know that classes are in session, you would probably use e-mail or instant messaging. But in the 1850s, the technology of choice was a very loud bell. First used in the United States Hotel, when that was the rented home of the University, and later in Anderson Hall on the Prince Street campus, the bell was rung on the hour to summon students to classes. Now housed in the archives of Rush Rhees Library, the “Anderson Bell” has been part of Rochester’s academic festivities for more than 150 years. While no longer rung regularly, the bell sometimes makes itself heard during special occasions.