Each February individuals from across the campus community participate in a Founders Day bell ceremony. The bell rings for each year since the University was established in 1857.

The ceremony is especially meaningful for Carson and Iris Varner from the College of Business, and College of Fine Arts instructor Randy Reid. They united to create a replica of the Old Main Bell that sits on the Quad.

PHOTOS: Founder’s Day Bell Ringing Ceremony ’12

The Varners, who joined the University in 1975, gave a financial gift for the solid bronze bell. Carson teaches in finance insurance and law. Now retired, Iris was a management and quantitative methods faculty member. She was director of the International Business Institute. Together they developed the interdisciplinary international business major that helped make ISU the center of international business education in Illinois. Their daughter, Katrin Varner, joined the College of Business faculty in 2000.

Reid ’87, M.S. ’91, M.F.A. ’96, is an instructor and bronze-casting specialist.

“As an Illinois State alumnus, I knew it would be a very special casting,” he said, noting the bell was cast in the University’s foundry. The strong ISU ties please the Varners.

“We are so proud to be part of a university whose mission is to give the premiere undergraduate educational experience in Illinois,” Carson said.