Iowa State University Alumni Association| online edition | spring 1999





Cover Story:
>>The Bells of Iowa State

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They are the heartbeat of Iowa State -- these bells that have rung for 100 years. The chimes tick off the passage of time every 15 minutes, with an unfinished little tune that makes us anticipate the booming resolution that we know will come every hour. Few of us know the words to the tune ("Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget, lest we forget") but every Iowa Stater knows the melody. And we're not about to forget.


The Stanton Legacy

It was May 1872, and one day after Edgar Williams Stanton received his diploma from Iowa State College, he was asked to join the mathematics faculty. Thus began a lifetime of service to his alma mater that included heading the math department, leading the Division of Industrial Science as dean, and serving as acting president on four different occasions.

He was popular with his students, who called him “Stanty.” Wrote one of his students, “Prof. Stanton was the finest teacher of mathematics I have ever seen. He was universally loved by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.” – George Washington Carver.

Margaret StantonFor their first two years of marriage, Stanton and Margaret Price MacDonald lived in Old Main, the administrative building that also served as dormitory. He and Margaret were a team. She shared his love for the students of Iowa State, and was often called upon by the college physician to assist with student illnesses and emergency operations.

Margaret died at the age of 50. Stanton could think of no honor more befitting her memory than bells that would speak to faculty, students, and townspeople alike. When Stanton died, his second wife added 26 bells to the 10 he had purchased in Margaret’s memory. The tower and its bells became known as the Edgar W. and Margaret MacDonald Stanton Memorial Carillon. The Stantons’ spirit of devotion to the bells of Iowa State lives today in the 27 people who volunteer their time and resources as members of the Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation.

Read on | 100 years ago: The beginning