Gift brings OU bell tower

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published December 28, 2012

 A $6.5 million carillon tower will be constructed at Oakland University next year.

A $6.5 million carillon tower will be constructed at Oakland University next year.

Image provided

ROCHESTER HILLS — Thanks to a $6.5 million gift, Oakland University will soon have a 151-foot carillon tower in the center of campus.

Benefactors Hugh and Nancy Elliott are contributing the donation that will fully fund the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new tower. A groundbreaking is slated for April.

“I wanted this bell tower to make a statement, to be a central focus on the campus,” said Nancy Elliott in a statement. “And it had to be designed not just as something pretty, but so that students could use it as a meeting place and somewhere they could gather. Oakland is a university where students don’t just take classes and leave; they live here and stay here and are a part of the campus community.”

A water fountain, garden and landscaping will accompany the tower. The Elliotts will provide input, advice and guidance for the tower’s design and planning. A design and construction timeline for the carillon will be developed throughout the next several months.

“Oakland University has made great strides in recent years to become a distinctive, respected and nationally recognized institution of higher learning,” said OU President Gary Russi in a statement. “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.”     

Within the past 15 years, the Elliotts have contributed a $2 million gift toward the OU School of Business Administration, established endowed scholarship and academic funds, created and sponsored the President’s Invitational golf outing, formed an athletic volunteer committee dedicated to fundraising, and much more.

“When you give, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself,” Hugh Elliott said in a statement. “I learned many years ago — and it’s true — that even if you give just a little bit, over time it adds up.”