Curiosity has been circling around NU about the significance behind two items that are new to our campus: a bench and a bell.
Located next to the parking lot by the Barton building, both of these are sure to catch anyone’s full attention. What few people know is that there is a touching story behind it. More than just an aesthetically pleasing cosmetic change, the Barton bench and bell–officially titled the Founder’s Bell–represent much more than a place to sit between classes.
At Northwest University, back when the school was still Northwest Bible Institute, a love story began that still continues to this day.
It was in the early 1930s when Professor Delbert L. Cox fell in love with a student named Ruth. Eventually they married.
While in today’s day and age, this type of relationship is typically frowned upon, it is important to remember that the times and convention of that era were vastly different to what we know today.
A teacher of music, Cox served faithfully at Northwest all with Ruth by his side.
When the love of her life passed on, Ruth had a great idea.
Wanting to give back to Northwest University’s campus, she decided to donate to the school the bell from the fire truck which her father had driven. This very bell now resides just outside the Barton Building.
Plans are in place for a commemoration service to dedicate the bell and honor the Cox family and their contribution to Northwest.
The Founder’s Bell will be dedicated to the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Northwest University by Ruth Cox herself.
The date is still to be determined but the effort is being made to make of this a memorable celebration.
In the meantime, Dustin Shirley, NU alumni director, will continue all of the preparations. A large plaque will stand next to the bell and bench, engraving the story behind the metal into history.
The bell is to begin a new tradition at home soccer games. Every time that our team scores a goal, the bell is to be rung.
If anything, the Founder’s Bell represents so much more than simple seating and a device to ring out. Next time you find yourself on your way down to class or heading up to Barton, take a seat, rest awhile, and remember those that came before you.
Written by Maritza Lino