Letter to the Editor

I am writing on behalf of the Independent Association of Framingham State Alumni (IAFSA) to let the Framingham State Community know about an exciting new addition to campus that IAFSA was able to contribute this year. Those of you who are on campus in the afternoon may have heard chimes coming from the Ecumenical Center. That beautiful sound is from the recently installed carillon.

The chapel, as many alumni refer to it, has a special place in alumni hearts and memories. The stained glass windows and many furnishings were donated by several classes after the building was purchased from the Seventh Day Adventists in 1969. When the chapel fell into disrepair in the 1980s, several alumni, along with faculty, students, clergy, and neighbors, led “save the chapel” efforts and successfully fought to have it restored. A chapel restoration fund, started during the preservation push, provided funding for such items as the grand piano, and now for the carillon.

Framingham State’s original plan was to move the carillon from St. Jeremiah’s Church, which was installed in memory of FSU alum Christa McAuliffe, who died in the Challenger explosion in 1986. Upon inspection of the carillon, it was decided that moving it would cause damage and the technology behind it was dated. IAFSA was pleased and proud to be able to provide a new carillon through the Chapel Restoration Fund. Additional funds were donated by IAFSA in memory of Dona Morrisey Kane, Class of 1964 and James P. Savas, Professor Emeritus, chairman of the music department and master choral director.

This new carillon is digital, and is able to be programmed to play different songs. Currently it rings twice a day in the afternoon and for special occasions, such as Winter Commencement. The bells, which will be called “Christa’s Bells,” will be dedicated during Alumni Weekend at a remembrance ceremony on May 17.

It is fitting that the gift of the carillon is during IAFSA’s 140th anniversary year, and anyone who would like to support the organization is encouraged to “Chime in to Donate.” Among other things, donations are used to fund student scholarships in keeping with IAFSA’s mission to provide scholarship and benevolent assistance to members of the Framingham State community. Visit www.AlumniHouse.org for a full list of scholarships.

So, while you’re walking by the Ecumenical Center in the afternoons, stop for a moment to listen to the chimes, and while you’re nearby, stop by the Alumni House at 42 Adams Road to say hello!

Kimberley Kiess
President of IAFSA

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