Each fall since 2015 the senior class has painted the bell in Pardini Park in their class colors. This week the Class of 2023 Purple & Green Jaguars did just that. Members of the class council took turns sanding off the old color and applying the new. Now it shines as a beacon for the Class of 2023!
A gift to Notre Dame from Dr. Keith Cooper, DDS (Justine ’16), the bell traveled across the country before finding a home on campus. Dr. Cooper found the bell, which was originally housed in a court house in Meridian, Mississippi, in an antique store in Texas while on a trip with his family. During Keith’s years at Wasson High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he was a proud Thunderbird, his family would transport the bell to football games on a motorcycle trailer where it would be rung with a great deal of school spirit. When his alma mater closed its doors, he kept the bell, not quite sure what to do with it. When Justine started high school at Notre Dame, he saw that the students had the same school spirit he had experienced at his own high school. “I had never found that level of spirit at any high school until Notre Dame,” shared Dr. Cooper. “I knew that the bell that was associated with so many memories for me would be part of new memories for the students of Notre Dame.”
The bell is traditionally rung to signify the beginning of the year, during Spirit Week and at the end of the year.