#ItIsTimeAU For a Timely Timepiece
In spirit with Dr. Luxton’s latest announcement to make Andrews University a British institution, administration has recently announced a new addition to the buildings on campus—a clock tower.
The Andrews University clock tower will be a solid 100 meters high, beating its British brother Big Ben by four meters. Though the construction will take about five years, teams say that the deadline can be expedited if administration puts off building the Health & Wellness Center for a few more years.
Dominique Wakefield, Director of University Health & Wellness, said, “Anyone climbing the stairs to the top of the tower on a daily basis will be in tip top shape, so the tower will be a kind of Health & Wellness Center. If enough students use the clock tower for exercise, maybe we won’t need to build the other Health & Wellness Center after all.”
It is hoped that on a clear day, Chicago will be visible from the rotunda at the top of the clock tower.
According to Grounds Supervisor and AU alumna Julie Logan, the clock tower will be replacing the aging timepiece donated by the Class of 1999 in between the Administration Building and Nethery Hall. At a press conference held in Newbold Auditorium on March 31, Logan detailed the reason for choosing the specific location.
Logan said, “After careful collaboration with the Andrews University Arboretum Council and local officials, we considered multiple sites, including the middle of the new entrance roundabout or in front of the J.N. Andrews statue. We determined that replacing the old, outdated, and only semi-functional clock in the center of campus would be the best location. This location, strategically placed between the administrative offices and Nethery Hall—another old relic of campus—will allow our students from the other side of the pond to feel more at home on our campus and foster conversation within our student body.”
Over 100 students, faculty and staff showed up to the commemorative groundbreaking ceremony on April 1. A large group of after-church spectators came to witness the golden shovel which once broke the ground at the building of Pioneer Memorial Church turn earth again, all to a hearty cheer and “My Country Tis of Thee” played on an ensemble of bagpipes.
Though this may seem like a sudden development on the part of administration, this project has been in development for quite a while, with students and faculty petitioning its formation on social media with the hashtag #ItIsTimeAU.
“I for one am thrilled about the new clock tower. This has been in the works for almost two years now, and it’s so exciting to finally see all the hard work coming to fruition,” said Tanner Martin (Master of Divinity).
Logan said, “It was really a grassroots movement, and it’s been an uphill battle from day one. There has been stiff opposition, and it has taken countless letters, emails and petitions to get this approved. I think the most beautiful part has been how many different students united and rallied together to make this happen. Everyone thought they were the only one who wanted the clock tower; but when we started opening up and sharing, we were shocked to discover just how many Andrews students felt the same way. It was so cool to see how everything came together.”
However, the clock tower hasn’t been without its opponents, including Tyler Thomas (junior, computer science), who voiced his concerns with the cost of the project.
Thomas said, “It's time AU...to laugh at this clock tower idea, [which] is the most contrived way to spend funds I've ever seen the folks over in the administration building come up with. When I heard about the concept I had to throw my hands in the air! I already know I'm late to class, no need to rub it in. Unless the physics department needs 1.21 gigawatts for an undisclosed project, I'd tick this one off my list.”
Though others aren’t as adamantly opinionated about the clock tower, it’s still safe to say that the old clock did possess a certain charm. According to Shannon Kelly (senior, journalism), while a certain sense of nostalgia is connected to the Class of 1999’s gift, she nonetheless is looking forward to new developments.
Kelly said, “I am sorry to see the old clock go; I always admired how classy and elegant it looks. But if they really feel like a clock tower will be better, and if they can manage to make it also look classy and elegant, I can accept it.”
When asked what would happen to the old timepiece, Grounds Worker Allie Trine (senior, speech pathology & audiology) said, “The old clock tower, which served the campus well for almost 20 years, will be relocated to the far reaches of the Dairy Farm which is the final resting place for many Andrews University relics”
Though many of us may be gone from our collegiate home when the clock tower is finally erected, current students can take heart in the legacy such an endeavor leave.
Martin said, “This clock tower isn’t just about our English heritage. We, the people, made this happen; so the tower is also a celebration of the people. The symbolism is powerful.”
*An article from the April Fool's Issue. Don't take anything in this issue too seriously.