FHU begins academic year with annual Tolling of the Bell

HENDERSON, Tenn. — A bell ringing in Lloyd Auditorium means one thing for students at Freed-Hardeman University — the start of classes.

“The beginning of an academic year is really exciting for all ages of students,” FHU President David Shannon said. “If you think about back to kindergarten and first grade, it’s a big day.”

Faculty walked into the Lloyd Auditorium in their regalia and sat on stage Wednesday during the Tolling of the Bell ceremony.

Dr. Elizabeth Saunders taught at Freed-Hardeman for 40 years and was the Master of the Bell on Wednesday.

“It was a humbling experience, very humbling experience. I’m grateful for it, I’m thankful for it, and a very humbling experience for me,” she said.

Saunders set many firsts in her life including being the first black teacher at Freed-Hardeman, and she had a challenge for new and returning students.

“We’re going to go to some tips as far as helping them persevere, and we’re going to talk about different areas I want to see them persevere in,” Saunders said.

This is the school’s 149th year in existence, and they are preparing for the big milestone next year.

“We’re also making plans for our 150th anniversary that will begin to be celebrated one year from today,” Shannon said.

President Shannon says they hope this tradition helps new and returning students get off on the right foot.

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