News & Publications
St. John’s Seniors Ring College Bell in Annual Tradition
FOR RELEASE: January 28, 2011
CONTACT: Patricia Dempsey, 410-626-2539
The bell of St. John's College's McDowell Hall will ring between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 6 as 83 seniors at the third oldest college in the country continue an annual tradition that marks a senior rite of passage. Each of this year's 83 seniors will be allowed one celebratory peal marking the completion of a major senior paper that is due that evening.
Seniors will turn in their essays to Dean Pamela Kraus before midnight February 5 at a reception at the home of President Christopher Nelson in Annapolis. Then they return to campus to ring the bell in McDowell Hall's cupola. (There is not a bell-rope to pull; the seniors press a button to sound the bell.)
This spring, seniors will participate in formal, hour-long oral exams on their essays. These examinations represent the culmination of the students' academic life at St. John's, and seniors typically choose topics of particular interest to them from their studies of the foundational works of Western civilization.