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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

The Campanile
World War II Memorial

The Memorial drive and the bell tower were built to honor KU students who died in World War II. The site picked for the tower overlooks two other war memorials--the Budig Hallfootball stadium and the Kansas Union. Over 8,000 people donated nearly $350,000 to construct the campanile, dedicated in 1951.

"America" was played on the carillon at its dedication in 1955. The carillon bells do not swing; they hang in a fixed position. Their clappers are moved by levers from the keyboard and pedals of the clavier. To ring the bells the carillonneur strikes the keys with closed fists.

Graduates marching down the hill at commencement enter the Campanile through the Budig Hall Doors of Memory, where humanity at war, courage, and achievement are depicted. They exit through the Doors of Kansas, where the homemaker/pioneer, scout/plainsman, explorer/native and symbols for Kansas ideals of worship/faith, investigation/education, and freedom/equality are represented.

Memorial Drive was completed and dedicated in 1951. Today it connects the Kansas Union, the Campanile, and the new Vietnam Memorial dedicated on Memorial Day, 1986.

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Budig Hall
Location: Memorial Drive north of Strong Hall

Campanile dedicated: May 27, 1951

Architects: Homer F. Neville and Edward B. Delk, Kansas City, Missouri

Landscape architect: Alton C. Thomas, University of Kansas

Sculptor: Bernard "Poco" Frasier

Contractor: Constant Construction Co., Lawrence

Height and levels: 120 feet tall; four levels connected by a winding staircase

Exterior walls: Mixed Silverdate, Cottonwood, and Junction City limestone, squared. Concave divided walls with cut-off corners

Structure: Reinforced concrete

Carillon: John Taylor and Co., Loughborough, England

Bells: Fifty-three tuned bells made from an alloy of pure copper and tin, weighing from ten pounds to seven tons, hang in six tiers

Carillon dedicated: June 6, 1955