The Victory Bell
The Bell that presently stands inside the Frank Ritter Memorial Arena, is most commonly referred to as the Victory Bell. The bell was donated to the Institute in the name of the fifth pledge class of Alpha Phi Omega for the purpose of rallying the student body to the support of athletic teams. The following is the history of the bell:
In 1879, this bell was forged and was then used in the Ritchfield Spring Schoolhouse and weighs 400 lbs. One day in October, 1964, Mr. A Stephen Walls and his family were driving back form vacation in Vermont. While they were passing Palantine Bridge, NY, near Utica, Mr. Walls saw the bell. He then told the brotherhood about the bell, and on Tuesday, October 19, 1964 the brothers voted to purchase it.
The Committee which went to Palantine Bridge to purchase the bell consisted of Mr. Walls, Dick Bazazzotto(chairman), Roger Kramer and Dave McKay. The bell cost $70.00, and the money was contributed jointly by actives and alumni of Alpha Phi Omega.
On the evening of October 19, 1964, the committee met at Mr. Walls’ house for a late supper. Afterwards, they went to Palantine Bridge in Mr. Walls 1961 Chevy Wagon. Upon their arrival, they purchased the bell and brought it back to RIT.
The next day, Dick Barazzotto made all the preparations for cleaning the bell and unveiling it. The unveiling took place at a pep rally for the soccer team the Friday before their Homecoming game, which was October 21.
After the ceremony the bell was kept in storage until the spring of 1965 when it was installed outside of the Ritter Clark Gymnasium. When the Institute move to the new campus, the bell was left at its former location. The Fraternity, seeing a need for it made plans to move it to the new campus. Both the seventh pledge class and the brotherhood decide that the bell should be mounted in such a way that it could be brought to sporting events regardless of location. A special cart was designed and built by the seventh pledge class, and on a cold rainy night in late October, 1968 the bell was brought to the Fraternity House and mounted.
The Bell is presently kept in the Frank Memorial Ice Arena and is still rung at every hockey game by the Corner Crew. The fifty-second pledge class built a new frame for the bell.
SPIRIT The Tiger
Our chapter also organized the purchase of SPIRIT, the tiger cub, who is still immortalized today on the Quarter Mile in between the SAU and the Library. The pelt can still be seen to this day in the Wallace Center’s Archives (3rd Floor).