Bell Tower


Watkins Bell Tower

1934
College Road
Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943


Still used today to summon students to class, the Watkins Bell Tower was erected in 1934 in memory of Asa DuPuy Watkins 1894, professor of English at Hampden-Sydney from 1918 to 1932. Bricks were secured from the homes of men instrumental in founding the College, from homes of Charter Trustees, College Presidents, members of the faculty from the founding to 1934, many of the other Trustees, and many distinguished alumni. Two bricks represent Princeton's Nassau Hall, where Samuel Stanhope Smith and his brother John Blair Smith roomed as students. A conservative estimate gives 250 as the number of people and places represented by bricks; the result is a "Memorial to all who have blessed this College and to all whom this College has blessed." (There are actually blueprints which show the location of each brick and where each came from. Unfortunately, no one has seen them recently.)

The Bell Tower plaques (2007) recognize members of the Peter Johnston Society, named for the first major benefactor of the College; the society honors those whose gifts have been unusually important in the life of Hampden-Sydney College.