Ford D. Albritton Jr. ’43: Albritton Bell Tower
Ford D. Albritton Jr. ’43, a World War II veteran, served on the Board of Regents and as president of the university’s alumni association during a period of major growth and transition of the institution—during the presidencies of Maj. Gen. Earl Rudder ’32 and, following his death in 1970, that of his successor, Jack K. Williams ’34.
Albritton is perhaps best known to most Aggies and others for the landmark bell tower that he and his wife, Martha, gave to the university in 1984. Formally known as the Albritton Bell Tower, it is located at the entrance of Old Main Drive. The inscription on the bell tower reads, “I ring with pride and honor for past, present and future students of Texas A&M University.”
The 138-foot tower has Westminster chimes and 49 carillon bells. The bells and chimes are programmed to sound every quarter hour. They can also play hymns during Silver Taps and “The Spirit of Aggieland” during special events. The cornerstone of the tower contains a time capsule for the class of 2076, Texas A&M’s bicentennial year. Along with donating the funds for the tower and the bells, the Albrittons also set up a permanent endowment for maintenance.
The bell tower was one of numerous donations made to the university by the couple. They funded “Exploration in Space,” the sculpture that sits at the entrance of the Olin E. Teague Research Center, while Albritton also helped establish the President’s Endowed Scholarship program.