Writer: Lorena Sánchez
One of the university’s oldest resident’s has seen a lot of action in the past 72 years.
The New Mexico State University Victory Bell was cast in 1939 and given to the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts as a gift before it was eventually adopted by the College of Engineering.
Beginning in 1939, it was rung in celebration of victories the Aggies had in sports, especially when NMSU triumphed over the University of Texas, El Paso. In 1941 the bell rang for 24 hours straight when NMSU won the border conference championship.
The bell has been painted red on several occasions. At one point the bell was even stolen by UTEP and held for ransom. It was later returned when a group of NMSU students stole the UTEP cannon. Then groups met at a secret location where the bell and cannon were exchanged.
In 1952 the bell was moved from a gazebo near the center of the Horseshoe and placed in the Aggie Memorial Tower in Goddard Hall. It took ten men to haul the bell up the stairs and into the tower. For 10 years the bell would ring to mark the hourly class change.
When electronic chimes were installed in place of the bell in 1962, the bell no longer had a set use.
When it fell out of commission, a group of engineering students with the Engineer’s Council restored the bell. It was renamed the Engineers’ Bell and placed on a pedestal on the Bromilow Mall between Jett Hall and Goddard Hall from 1972 until sometime in the late ‘90s.
After its resurrection, it was once again used for campus celebrations. Engineering students had the honor of ringing the bell at these events. But, for safety reasons the bell was once again moved from its place and permanently mounted in the stadium, where it is rung during football games.