The Altgeld Hall Chimes

Celebrate a century of the most iconic sound of campus

You know you’re on the University of Illinois’ campus when you hear the sound of Altgeld Hall’s chimes on the breeze. Now you can experience them off campus, too.

Listen to Hail to the Orange or play your own favorite on our virtual chimes player.

100 years of the Altgeld Chimes

The bells were first dedicated in a concert at Homecoming on Oct. 30, 1920. On October 30, 2020, the Altgeld Chimes turned 100, and the University of Illinois celebrated with the Altgeld Chimes Centennial Concert, a celebration of the chimes featuring the Marching Illini and chimesmasters.

About the Altgeld Chimes

The Altgeld Chimes: A timeline

1914: Students vote to raise money for chimes for a senior memorial gift. 
1920: The Altgeld Chimes play for the first time on Oct. 30. John William Arnold, senior in mathematics, serves as the first chimesmaster.
1922: A pendulum clock, a gift from the Class of 1922, is added to ring out the time on the chimes.
1931–33: Alice Lauretta Madden, a graduate student, serves as the first woman chimesmaster.
1957: After several years of closure and disrepair, the Altgeld Chimes resume playing thanks to funds from the state and the University of Illinois Foundation's Altgeld Chimes Restoration Fund.
1958–2017: Albert Emmet "Al" Marien and Sue Wood, who played under Marien, serve as chimes masters from 1958–1994 and 1994–2017 respectively. 
2015: The Altgeld Ringers, a registered student organization, forms to play, promote, preserve history, and organize events in honor of the Altgeld Chimes.
2017–18: The Altgeld Chimes receive another tune-up.

Learn more