After 75 Years, Victory Bells Still Ring Out Across Campus

The bells, dedicated by the senior class of 1936, have remained a tradition for more than seven decades.

Demanding attention from their home high above campus, the Victory Bells rang out Monday for a different kind of triumph – their own.

Seventy-five years since the first ringing of the Victory Bells following an athletics win, the Saddle Tramps commemorated the event by climbing to the tower and tolling them for several minutes.

The Victory Bells, donated by the senior class of 1936, first rang during that year’s graduation ceremony. But the first time they rang following a victory came on Sept. 19, 1936, when the Texas Tech football team defeated Texas Wesleyan 26-7. A tradition was born that day and has remained strong for more than seven decades.

Arch Lamb, the founder of the Saddle Tramps, was in charge of the ringing the Victory Bells back in 1936. And today, only members of the Saddle Tramps and High Riders are allowed to ring the bells for NCAA victories and special occasions.

The Victory Bells, one large and one small, weigh a combined 1,200 pounds and hang in the east tower of the Administration Building.

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Saddle Tramps

The Saddle Tramps was organized in the Fall of 1936 by Head Cheerleader Arch Lamb. The group was conceived to help channel the student body's sometimes overly exuberant and unruly nature into more positive and productive activities.

Saddle Tramps attend all mens home football, basketball and baseball games. The primary focus remains to further the spirit and uphold the traditions of Texas Tech University. Some of the traditions that maintain are: Raider Red, wrapping of Will Rogers and Midnight Raiders, Homecoming Bonfire and Parade, bell circles, Victory Bells, shotguns, UT/A&M Watch, Carol of Lights, Bangin Bertha and many more.

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