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Illinois in Focus

The engraving is on the side of the bell that is rung during Fighting Illini home football games. Students in NROTC are in charge of ringing the bell when the visiting team kicks to Illinois, and for each point the Illini score. (It's cumulative, so after the first touchdown and extra point conversion, they would ring it seven times; after the second they ring it fourteen times, etc.)

While the University Archives has no record of the campus receiving this bell as a gift (it may actually have been a gift to NROTC), the generally accepted history is that the bell was cast for the U.S.S. Illinois battleship that was under construction during World War II. When the war ended, construction was halted. Most of the ship was sold for scrap, but the bell was sent to the Illinois campus. There's more information and a larger image of the bell on this Wikipedia page.


Produced by Public Affairs for the Office of the Chancellor and the U of I Alumni Association
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.