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University Archives

Hayes Hall Tower Clock and Westminster Chime

The tower clock and Westminster chime in the tower of Edmund Hayes Hall were the gift of Mrs. Edward H. Butler, a long-time University Council member. Kate Robinson Butler (1891-1974) was the wife of Edward H. Butler, president of the Buffalo Evening News. After the death of her husband she took over operations of the paper. At the time of her death, Mrs. Butler was both president and publisher of the News as well as the president of WBEN, Inc.

The Hayes Hall clock and bells were installed in July 1928 and set in operation on the evening of July 19, 1928. The dials of the clock are 7 feet, 4 inches in diameter and are located 105 feet above the sidewalks at the entrance to the building.

The four bells, which make a complete Westminster chime, are located in the open belfry above the clock, 120 feet above the ground. Each bell bears an inscription related to learning.


The Largest Bell

The largest bell, weighing 1,800 pounds, is tuned exact F. It is used to strike the hours as well as for the quarter strike. It bears the following inscription, written by Cuthbert W. Pound, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals:

All truth is one. In this light may science and religion labor here together for the steady evolution of mankind from darkness to light; from prejudice to tolerance; from narrowness to broadmindedness.


The Second Bell

The second bell weighs 750 pounds and is tuned exact B-flat. It bears the following inscription, taken from James Russel Lowell's "Present Crisis":

New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still and onward Who would keep abreast with truth.


The Third Bell

The third bell weighs 550 pounds and is tuned exact C. Its inscription is the sixteenth verse of the sixteenth chapter of Proverbs, and reads:

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!


The Fourth Bell

The fourth bell, which weighs 400 pounds is tuned exact D. Its inscription was written by Judge Pound and reads:

I am the voice of life; I call you: Come and learn."




-- From the University Council General Administration Committee minutes, Sept. 19, 1928