Tulane University removes ‘Victory Bell,’ citing ties to slavery

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Campus of Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

In a desperate attempt to appear virtuous and “woke,” Tulane University officials are banishing a piece of metal – and with it a positive celebratory tradition – from their campus.

Tulane’s “Victory Bell” has been relegated to storage after officials were told of its history “as an instrument of slavery.” The bell was rung to celebrate when Tulane won basketball or football games. Students would also rub it for good luck. But college officials said they were informed last week that the bell was originally used on a plantation.

It was removed from its pedestal on campus on Feb. 27, according to a report.

“It is terribly disheartening to learn that it is, in fact, a vestige of a horrific part of our nation’s past,” Tulane President Mike Fitts and Board Chairman Doug Hertz told students in a letter, reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

“Now that we understand its history as an instrument of slavery, continuing to use this bell in a celebratory manner would run counter to our values.”

A special committee will submit recommendations for a replacement.

“As an academic institution, we believe it is important to find a way to use this bell to further our knowledge and understanding of slavery and pursue a more just society,” the pair said in the letter, the paper reported.

According to the Times-Picayune, the bell was cast in 1825 and donated by Richard Leche, a former Louisiana governor and Tulane law school graduate who was a close ally of former Gov. Huey P. Long. Leche resigned from office and served time in federal prison for corruption before being pardoned by President Harry Truman.

The bell arrived on Tulane’s campus in 1960 and stood in front of Fogelman Arena. There it stood for decades and was rung after Tulane basketball victories until the tradition “fell into disuse,” the paper reported. In 2011, the bell was refurbished, moved to the front of McAlister and dedicated to Tulane fan Robert “Bobby” J. Boudreau.

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