Clark Atlanta University Bells of Harkness Hall Ring in Recognition of Easter Sunday Students and COVID-19 Emergency Responders


(Clark Atlanta University April 8, 2020) –ATLANTA, GA – Since the late 90’s the bells located in the clock tower of Clark Atlanta University’s Harkness Hall have been silent. The sound of the bells ringing throughout the CAU campus and the surrounding community has always created a feeling of hope, nostalgia and pride. 

The purpose of ringing church bells in modern times was to signify the time for worshippers to gather for a church service. On Sunday, April 12, after an extensive six-month refurbishing project of Harkness Hall including the tower that houses the bells, Clark Atlanta University will again ring the bells at high noon joining the local community and communities across our nation and world in celebration of Easter Sunday and the culmination of Holy Week.

“The bells at Harkness Hall have not tolled in many years. I believe on this Easter Sunday it is most appropriate that we ring them in recognition of this special day,” said George T. French Jr., Ph.D., President of Clark Atlanta University.  “Our world, our nation and our Clark Atlanta University community are experiencing an unprecedented crisis in the Coronavirus pandemic that we never imagined experiencing. This simple gesture is one way we encourage our students to stay safe, honor those who continue to provide healthcare on the front lines of the pandemic as well as honor those who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” said President French. 


As a United Methodist Church affiliated university, the ringing of the bells of Harkness Hall will serve as a celebration of Easter Sunday.  It will be a time to reflect on CAU students, impacted by COVID-19, to acknowledge first responders, front-line heroes across the world who are providing care to those suffering from the pandemic and honor those who have lost their lives to the virus during the world-wide pandemic.

Join us Sunday, via Facebook Live at

to listen to the bells of Harkness Hall tribute.

For additional information, please contact Jolene Butts Freeman, Director of News and Media Relations at Clark Atlanta University at (770) 376-5991 or via email at

About Clark Atlanta University

Established in 1988 by the consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is one of the Nation’s foremost research institutions, offering students from around the United States and several foreign countries the opportunity to engage in 38 exciting areas of study at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Located in the historic heart of Atlanta, one of the world's great international cities, CAU’s nearly 4,000 students enjoy access to academic and co-curricular experiences, from forensic debate, to on-air broadcasting, to cancer research with world-renowned investigators. From the arts to zoology, CAU combines nearly 300 years of tradition with a solid focus on academic excellence to produce leaders who will shape the future of the global community. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit .