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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a new way to celebrate the triumphs of its 16 NCAA intercollegiate sports teams.
A 3,000-lb. victory bell will ring for all Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns’ home, away and postseason wins. It will also peal at Commencement each fall, spring and summer to acknowledge graduates’ academic success.
The ringing of a victory bell is a popular tradition at many universities across the United States, such as Baylor, Fordham, and Ohio State.
“It’s a fun way to celebrate success. In today’s high-tech world, it’s a throwback to a simpler time when a bell was used to announce an event to a community,” said Dr. Joseph Savoie, president of UL Lafayette. “We hope that this traditional way of letting people know of our victories will promote pride in the University.”
The victory bell hangs in a tower at the recently expanded south end zone of Cajun Field. The bell tower is at the center of UL Lafayette’s Edgar G. “Sonny” Mouton Jr. Sports and Entertainment Plaza. The area between West Congress Street, Bertrand Drive, Reinhardt Drive and Souvenir Gate was named in honor of the late Louisiana senator earlier this year.
The cast bronze bell was custom-made in Annecy, France, at Fonderie Paccard, which has made about 1,200 bells since it began operation in 1796.
Raised fleurs-de-lis are on both sides of the bell. The University’s name and year it was established – 1898 – are in French on the front. “Lafayette” is on the back.
The bell’s electro-mechanical clapper is activated electronically. The bell can be rung using a mobile device from any location.
A committee, led by Rob Stewart, associate athletics director for external affairs, met over the summer to set guidelines for the bell’s use. It included several representatives from the Alumni Association, University administration and student government.
The victory bell will ring for five minutes for all home, away and postseason victories, 10 minutes for conference championships and graduations, and 15 minutes for individual and team NCAA national championships.
It will ring immediately after the conclusion of all road games/matches for each sport and for the following home events:
• football, following the team singing the fight song to the student section;
• soccer, immediately after the recorded fight song plays;
• volleyball, immediately after a match;
• basketball, following the teams singing the fight song on the court;
• baseball, after playing the Kool & The Gang song, “Celebration”;
• softball, following the team’s “Ragin’ Cajuns” chant;
• golf, immediately following a tournament;
• track/cross country, immediately after a meet; and
• tennis, immediately following a match.
A recording of the victory bell ringing will be played over the public address systems after Ragin’ Cajuns men’s and women’s basketball games in the Cajundome and volleyball games in Earl K. Long Gym.
The victory bell was purchased with private funds.