The completion of the Bell Tower clears the way for Christopher Newport to build rich traditions around seminal campus events like commencement, as well as spirit occasions such as athletic victories.

The Tower stands between McMurran Hall and Forbes Hall, and features the bell from the SS United States. The bell was a gift from the late Dr. Sarah Forbes, CNU friend and benefactor, and the daughter of Mary Brock Forbes, for whom CNU’s science center is named.

As CNU's namesake, Captain Christopher Newport, was himself a mariner, it is especially fitting that a ship’s bell will be heard ringing out across campus. The United States was also constructed at Newport News Shipbuilding, a long-time pillar of the community and employer of many Christopher Newport alumni over the years.

The Bell Tower includes a clock on each of its four sides and a carillon that can chime the hour and play other musical interludes. The Bell Tower plaza will also feature an exedra, Greek for a semi-circular seating area, which will provide faculty and students an outdoor venue for classes and also serve as a place to honor faculty and staff who have served CNU through the years.

Graduates will be able to ring the bell following the recessional and faculty gauntlet until 2 p.m.