Campus History : OPSU Clock Tower
Conceived of and sponsored by the Panhandle State Association of Alumni and Friends, the campus bell tower was erected in 1990 during the tenure of Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) President Dr. Theodore Wischropp. The clock tower is known as the Imeta O’Neal Dent Memorial Bell Tower, for the Dent family’s generosity made the clock tower possible through gifts “given in [Imeta Dent’s] memory by her family and the friends of the bells.”
Family contributors include John Howard Dent, Joel Max Dent, John Mark Dent, and Margaret Dent Hamilton. The Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College (PAMC) Senior High School Class of 1929 contributed a significant portion of the cost as well. “Golden Bell Ringers”—Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Riley; R. D. and Emma Schultz; William Etling; Basil Martin; Nora Key; Dr. and Mrs. Larry Boyd; Mr. and Mrs. Duane Schafer; Mr. and Mrs. Vernie Boren; Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Palmer; Gladys Key Perry; and the First National Bank of Guymon—helped defray the cost of the tower’s carillon.
Situated in a circular concrete and brick flower bed surrounded by a walkway and evergreen trees, the tower stands on the OPSU central plaza and serves as the focal point for the annual homecoming and commencement BBQ’s. The red brick bell tower’s four clock faces graced with Roman numerals allow all passersby to note the time. Its Schulmerich carillon announces the time with its Westminster chimes sounding on the quarter hours. In addition, the carillon mechanism can function as a public address system and play bells or specially taped music.
- Sara Jane Richter, 2009