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Unseen IU: Student Building Chime

An aerial shot of the Francis Morgan Swain Student Building on the IU Bloomington campus

Walk through IU’s Bloomington campus on a Friday evening and you may hear “Hail to Old I.U.” ringing out. The source of the sound is a 14-bell chime housed in the Frances Morgan Swain Student Building. In September 2016, the building was named in honor of Swain, who was IU’s ninth first lady. An advocate for women in higher education in the late 1800s, she lobbied the IU trustees for a space on campus devoted to female students.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the student building opened in 1906 and originally housed a parlor, auditorium, gymnasium, and a swimming pool.

In this video, you’ll join Patrick Fischer, curator of organs and carillons at IU, for a behind-the-scenes look inside the student building’s clock tower, one of the often heard but seldom seen spaces in IU’s Old Crescent.

This video was originally published for IU Day 2017.

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IU Foundation Staff

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