It can be seen—and heard—across campus and beyond. The Bernard Family Clock Tower is up and running.
Dedication ceremonies were held Aug. 2 for the Bernard Family Clock Tower, located between the Memorial Union and R.L. Smith ME-EM buildings on the Michigan Technological University Campus.
Michigan Tech Alumni Board President Daniel Batten presided over the event alongside University President Richard Koubek and William ’69 and Ilene Bernard Jr.
In addition to the clock tower, a generous gift from the Bernard family established the William J. Bernard Jr. Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide support to Michigan Tech students. Matthew Thomas, from Jackson, Michigan will be the first recipient of the scholarship award. The scholarship will generate a $4,000 award annually. Thomas, along with his parents, was at the dedication and was acknowledged.
Saying he was, "proud to be a Yooper," Bernard stated, "I never thought I'd be in this position—to give this kind of gift." He acknowledged the support of his family, in particular his brother, in building his business. Along with his wife, Bernard said his siblings, children and grandchildren were present at the dedication.
Bernard explained the importance of the design of the clock tower, reminiscent of railroad trestles from the copper mining history of the region, with a nod to the Portage Lift Bridge. "We wanted to tie in the history of the Copper Country with Michigan Tech. Hopefully it stands well."
The clock tower stands nearly 37 feet tall and sits on a three-and-a-half-foot base constructed of concrete and salvaged Jacobsville sandstone from the original central heating plant that was dismantled two years ago. Each face of the eight-foot square tower boasts a four-foot diameter clock which can be seen throughout campus and from the highway.
The tower houses a 37-inch diameter cast bronze bell that will ring for special occasions.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.