For six decades, Tulane University rang its Victory Bell after its basketball team’s victories. Now, the bell is sitting in storage after university officials discovered that it was used on a plantation that had slaves.
Last week, school officials published a letter to Tulane students and noted out it was “terribly disheartening” to learn of the bell’s history. The bell had previously been called a “symbol of the Tulane spirit,” according to Inside Higher Ed.
Doug Hertz, chairman of Tulane’s board and university president Mike Fitts said that officials discovered that not only was the bell forged in 1825, but it was used on a plantation to direct the movement of African slaves. Part of the letter said, “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 as a university community.”
It is currently sitting in storage until the university determines what to do with it. The bell’s removal and storage were similar to the manner in which universities, colleges, cities, and states have removed Confederate statues across the country.
Tulane University is a private university located in New Orleans, Louisiana.