Fredericksburg, Va. – The University of Mary Washington will hold a ribbon cutting for the Carmen Culpeper Chappell ’59 Centennial Campanile on Friday, May 11, at 4 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public.
John Chappell, husband of the late Carmen Culpeper Chappell, will speak at the dedication. In addition, Richard V. Hurley, UMW acting president and vice president for administration, finance, and legislative affairs, and J. William Poole, rector of the UMW Board of Visitors, will deliver remarks at the ceremony.
The 88-foot-tall tower was constructed within the traffic circle near George Washington Hall and the beginning of Campus Walk. The campanile matches the traditional Georgian Revival architectural style of other campus buildings. The base is approximately 21 square feet and includes a fountain dedicated to Chappell’s class, the Class of 1959.
The campanile’s bronze bells were cast in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, at the world-famous bellfoundry of Paccard-Fonderie de Cloches. At the ribbon cutting, the bells will ring in the “Centennial Era” of the university, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2007-08. They will continue to ring on a daily basis at noon and 6 p.m.
John and Carmen met when he was an officer in training at Quantico and she was a student at Mary Washington. The couple married in 1961, and she remained active with the Alumni Association, serving on the fund-raising and decorating committees for the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. Carmen passed away in 2003 from complications relating to breast cancer.
To celebrate her life, her love of learning and her loyalty to Mary Washington, the Chappell family searched for ways to honor Carmen’s memory. Two diverse projects emerged: funding the Great Lives Lecture Series and constructing a bell tower, or campanile, in commemoration of the university’s centennial.
For more information about the Centennial Campanile, contact the Office of University Development at (540) 654-1024.