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Bell Returns to Provost Umphrey Stadium

1967 cheer squad with bellA tradition returns to Lamar University football beginning in 2018 as bells are re-introduced at Provost Umphrey Stadium. The bells, which were rung after the Cardinals scored a touchdown or field goal, were originally added to the gameday experience in 1967. 

The bells replaced a cannon (named Big Mac for former university president F.L. McDonald) which was used to celebrate Cardinal scores prior to the 1967 campaign.

“LU athletics wants to celebrate champion in the classroom, champions in the competition arena and champions in life,” said LU Director of Athletics Marco Born. “Traditions are important in building pride. Resurrecting this age-old tradition of ringing the bell after every LU score encourages and celebrates successes on the field.”

The original bell, weighing approximately 300 pounds, was donated to LU by the Santa Fe Railroad Company and has the engine number stamped on the top. When the bells were installed in the stadium, it was the responsibility of the cheerleaders to ring the bell after LU scores.

After the cancellation of the program following the 1989 season, the bells were removed from the stadium and placed in storage. Over the offseason, the bells were found and the restoration process began.

The bells will be rung for the first time in more than 30 years Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Cardinals host Kentucky Christian in the 2018 season opener. Members of the 1967 LU Cheer squad, who first rang the bell, will be in attendance to ring it prior to the game to signify a passing of the torch to the current student body. After that moment the bell will only be rung when the Cardinals come on to the field at the beginning of the game and following each touchdown and field goal. 

A second bell larger bell, will be added to LU’s gameday atmosphere for the 2019 season. The second bell weighs approximately 1,000 pounds and originally had a 78-pound clapper. It was loaned to the university by Beaumont Plating Works.