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Bell Tower -- Memorial Chapel Hampton University Hampton (VA) September 2012 | by Ron Cogswell
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Bell Tower -- Memorial Chapel Hampton University Hampton (VA) September 2012

Designed by J. Cleveland Cady and built in 1886, the architectural style of the Memorial Capel is Italian Romanesque Revival. The Bell Tower stands 150 ft. high and has a clock on all four sides. The twelve bells, the largest of which weighs 2,000 lbs., toll on the hour and can be heard throughout campus.


The chapel is still used today as a nondenominational sanctuary, with services every Sunday, except holidays.


In 1868, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong founded Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute for formerly enslaved African Americans and their descendants. The educational program was designed to train “the head, the hand and the heart”—”the head” through strong academic class work, “the hand” through manual labor and vocational training, and “the heart” through an emphasis on service, selflessness, and Christianity.


As the academic program evolved from that of a secondary school into a four-year college, and then into a university, the school’s name changed to Hampton Institute (1930) and then to Hampton University (1984).


Hampton University encompasses 254 acres and includes 118 buildings. The staff and student body have grown from two teachers and fifteen students to over 300 faculty, 600 support staff, and 5,700 students.


Image by Ron Cogswell on September 22, 2012, using a Nikon D80 and minor Photoshop effects.



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Taken on September 22, 2012