California sculptor Ruth Asawa, who died in 2013,
prepares bas-relief images of bears for the Great
Bear Bell, one of 13 new bells funded by alumni
Jerry and Evelyn Chambers. (UC Berkeley photo)

Two young bears at play on the 5.25-ton Great Bear Bell, the heaviest of the tower’s 61 bells.
(UC Berkeley photo)

A grander carillon

1983: The carillon becomes a 61-bell grand carillon thanks to a multi-million-dollar gift from Jerry Chambers and his wife, Evelyn. Thirteen new bells are cast and installed, allowing the instrument’s range to span five octaves, and the bells’ weight to range from 20 pounds to 5.25 tons. Sculptor Ruth Asawa creates bas-relief images of young bears for the Great Bear Bell, the largest and heaviest of all. The Campanile closes for the five-month-long installation.

The Chamberses’ endowment also provides for a permanent, full-time University Carillonist in the Department of Music – there is no position like it today at any other North American university – as well as a campanology library, practice rooms and keyboards, and a carillon festival every five years.

2017-05-19T21:11:10+00:00 Timeline|