If you have ever visited Furman’s campus or received an email or brochure from us, you have definitely seen the Furman Bell Tower. The Bell Tower serves as a focal point for many sweet traditions and the seed for a few superstitions. Some are pure fun, others are a bit sentimental, and few are just crazy! For example, legend has it that if you kiss your significant other under the Bell Tower, you will get married. The only way to break that spell is to come back to the Bell Tower and throw that person into the lake. Folklore also claims that there is a secret society made up of current students that holds the keys to the spiral staircase that leads up to the top of the Bell Tower. Supposedly this secret society also controls the music to the Bell Tower causing theme songs like those from Harry Potter and The Office or seasonal tunes like Jingle Bells to belt out across campus. Occasionally, they even play popular top hit songs. It’s so fun to be walking to class and out of nowhere hear a song ring all across campus!
Secondly, a fun tradition (although the idea of it being fun might depend if you are on the receiving or giving end of this tradition) happens on one’s birthday. This tradition is the best way to celebrate someone’s birth by throwing them in the lake! My birthday fell over quarantine so I dodged that bullet this year!
One of the most memorable Furman traditions doesn’t occur at the Bell Tower, but it still involves water. Along with the Bell Tower, the many fountains are iconic images of Furman. In celebration of the last day of classes (LDOC) at the end of each academic year, seniors celebrate the completion of their last day of classes at Furman by jumping into the fountain outside the Library. Wearing bathing suits to class, they race to the fountain after their last lectures and jump into the fountain which is overflowing with festive pool floats. All the underclassmen sit on the steps of the Lib and watch all the fun. It is a special day to celebrate the seniors and fun to watch them laughing all together before graduation and summer break.
Even though we are a smaller university, our traditions are beloved and our spirit is big! So if you visit Furman, listen when the Bell Tower rings and snap some pictures of the lake!
Thanks for reminiscing with me about fun Furman times! Hope you have a great week!
Best, Libby Mulligan