Funded by John Motley Morehead (class of 1891) and Rufus Lenoir Patterson II, this 172-foot bell tower was dedicated on Thanksgiving, 1931, and is now one of the best-known symbols of the university (arguably second only to the Old Well). Botany professor William Coker designed the landscaping around the tower (he also designed the nearby Coker Arboretum). Though the tower used to feature mannually-operated bells, it now has 14 mechanized bells, which chime every hour. UNC seniors are permitted to climb the Bell Tower before graduating.


  • The Bell Tower.
    The Bell Tower.
  • An old postcard featuring UNC's Bell Tower.
    An old postcard featuring UNC's Bell Tower.
  • A postcard (c. 1905-15) showing South Road and the Bell Tower.
    A postcard (c. 1905-15) showing South Road and the Bell Tower.
"Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower." UNC. Accessed November 13, 2017. http://www.unc.edu/interactive-tour/landmarks/morehead-patterson-bell-tower/.

"Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, UNC (Chapel Hill)." Commemorative Landscapes, UNC. Accessed February 15, 2018. http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/303/. 

Image credit 1: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Morehead_Patterson_Bell_Tower.jpg

Image credit 2: "Bell Tower, University of N.C., Chapel Hill N.C." in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill. http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/nc_post/id/7654/rec/16

Image credit 3: "South Road and Bell Tower, University of N.C., Chapel Hill" Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill. http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/nc_post/id/2036/rec/1