For almost 20 years, Tar Heels in the senior class at Carolina have lined up on the pathways that surround the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower on a spring day and waited for their turn to leave their mark inside a UNC-Chapel Hill icon. In a tradition that the UNC General Alumni Association started in 2003, members of the senior class hike up the 128 steps in the Bell Tower to sign their name on bricks within. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s an opportunity the Class of 2020 won’t immediately be able to take advantage of as originally planned — on Wednesday, April 15 — during Senior Week. Much like Spring Commencement, plans for a rescheduled senior Bell Tower climb will be announced when it’s safe for social activities and gatherings to resume.
In the meantime, UNC-Chapel Hill’s social media team wants to give the Carolina Class of 2020 a chance to participate in this cherished tradition in a virtual way. Head to our Instagram Story on Wednesday and screenshot our template of a Bell Tower brick. Decorate it however you like, post your handiwork to your Instagram Story or feed, and then tag @uncchapelhill so we can see and celebrate your design! If you want to get even more hands-on, you can build your own Bell Tower brick by printing out the template linked here. Sign and customize your Bell Tower brick, cut along the dotted lines and fold to build it, then finish by taking a photo with your brick and posting it on social media. Use the hashtag #UNC20 and tag @UNC on Twitter or @uncchapelhill on Instagram, and we might repost it!
We know this is no substitute for the real thing, but we hope it offers the Class of 2020 a chance to celebrate together — even at a distance. While there will be no standing in line, no Sharpies in hand, no writing on any real bricks on April 15, #UNC20, seeing and sharing your virtual brick creativity on social media is the least we can do to try to bring this Senior Week tradition to life until you have the chance to climb the Bell Tower yourselves.