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Coastal Carolina gets new bell tower named for Graham

September 17, 2004

A 40-foot bell and clock tower has been installed on the Coastal Carolina University campus, named the Graham Bell Tower in honor of the late Harvey Graham Sr. of Loris.

The 25-bell tower, constructed by the Verdin Co., will be dedicated during Coastals Founders Day activities on Monday, Sept. 20. A time capsule will be placed in the structure, to be opened in 2054, the year of the universitys 100th anniversary.

Constructed of steel and topped with a pitched, copper roof, the tower is located in Spadoni Park between the Student Center and Wheelwright Auditorium. It will ring on the hour and, since it is a carillon, can be played on a keyboard during special events, such as Founders Day. The 25 bells give it two octaves of sound.

Graham, the son of a sharecropper who farmed tobacco, was a prominent businessman. His son, Harvey Graham Jr., followed him into his business enterprises, as did his grandson, Harvey Graham III. Their businesses include The Brick Warehouse, the Graham Brothers Farm Supply Store, and Carolina Linen Service. Graham Sr. died in 1998.

This tower is a fitting tribute to mark Coastals first 50 years, said Danny Nicholson, vice president for university advancement. It will become a tradition. It can ring during football games, during commencement and to mark other important occasions, whether they are joyous or somber.

The Verdin Co., founded in Ohio in 1835, works with all major American and European bell foundries in the restoration and installation of bells. From father to son, the company has passed to the fifth generation of the Verdin family. The firm specializes in the technology of bell ringing equipment, electronic carillons and clock making.

BB&T has also made a gift to Coastal to support the Graham Bell Tower project.