World War II Memorial
The Memorial drive and the bell tower were built to honor KU students who died in World War II. The site picked for the tower overlooks two other war memorials--the football stadium and the Kansas Union. Over 8,000 people donated nearly $350,000 to construct the campanile, dedicated in 1951.
"America" was played on the carillon at its dedication in 1955. The carillon bells do not swing; they hang in a fixed position. Their clappers are moved by levers from the keyboard and pedals of the clavier. To ring the bells the carillonneur strikes the keys with
Graduates marching down the hill at commencement enter the Campanile through the
Doors of Memory, where humanity at war, courage, and achievement are depicted. They exit through the Doors of Kansas, where the homemaker/pioneer, scout/plainsman, explorer/native and symbols for Kansas ideals of worship/faith, investigation/education, and freedom/equality are represented.
Memorial Drive was completed and dedicated in 1951. Today it connects the Kansas Union, the Campanile, and the new Vietnam Memorial dedicated on Memorial Day, 1986.
Memorial Drive north of Strong Hall
May 27, 1951
Homer F. Neville and Edward B. Delk, Kansas City, Missouri
Alton C. Thomas, University of Kansas
Bernard "Poco" Frasier
Constant Construction Co., Lawrence
Height and levels:
120 feet tall; four levels connected by a winding staircase
Mixed Silverdate, Cottonwood, and Junction City limestone, squared. Concave divided walls with cut-off corners
John Taylor and Co., Loughborough, England
Fifty-three tuned bells made from an alloy of pure copper and tin, weighing from ten pounds to seven tons, hang in six tiers
June 6, 1955