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PHOTOS: OU breaks ground on Elliott Carillon Tower

Friday, April 19, 2013
PHOTOS: OU breaks ground on Elliott Carillon Tower
By Katie Land, news editor

Nancy and Hugh Elliott
Oakland University administrators opened a new chapter of campus history Friday afternoon, when they broke ground on the Elliott Carillon Tower.

Located north of Kresge Library, the construction of the 151-foot tower was made possible by a generous gift from longtime Oakland supporters, Hugh and Nancy Elliott.

“The Elliotts’ remarkable gift will certainly come to symbolize the pride our community has taken in what we’ve accomplished, as well as the promise of even greater success in the future,” said OU President Gary Russi.

The Elliott Carillon Tower is designed to be a rallying point for student activities, and will create a stunning visual centerpiece for Oakland’s campus, complete with a water fountain, garden and decorative landscaping.

Once complete in 2014, the structure will become the 14th carillon tower in Michigan, and only the fourth located on a university campus. Its 49 bells will be designed and cast by The Verdin Company of Cincinnati and the Royal Bellfoundry Petit & Fritsen of the Netherlands.

Dennis Curry, local carillonneur and longtime friend of the Elliotts, looks forward to the completion of the carillon tower.

“The new carillon tower will not only become an icon for the university, but will also add an aural dimension,” Curry said. “There will be a regular live playing schedule in addition to the traditional quarter chimes. I am very fortunate to have been asked by the Elliotts to be involved in the development of the musical aspects of this instrument, to serve as the university carillonneur, and to establish a program of education and training though the music school.”

Curry’s pedigree includes learning to play the carillon at the Kirk in the Hills Church in Bloomfield Hills, which boasts 77 bells – the world’s largest. Additionally, he has been a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America for 24 years, six of which he served as president. Curry currently sits on the organization’s board of directors.

To view a carillon performance by Dennis Curry, follow the link

The construction of the tower will coincide with several transformative student-centered projects approved by Oakland’s Board of Trustees this winter.

The projects, all slated for a fall 2014 completion, include construction of a 1,240-space parking structure, a new recreation and athletic complex, a nearly $30 million student housing complex and a new headquarters for facility and grounds maintenance operations.

To view a map locating new construction projects on campus, click here. For interactive and printable maps of the campus, visit oakland.edu/map.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.  

View photos from the Friday, April 19, groundbreaking ceremony below.