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A picture of tour attendees

Getting to Know Yale and its Traditions

Santiago “Santi” Zindel MEM/SOM ’19 shares photos and reflections from a tour of Harkness Tower organized for Yale SOM students and offered each year.

Recently, I joined a tour of Yale’s iconic Harkness Tower. The Yale landmark holds 54 bells that are played by the Yale University Guild of Carilloneurs. In order to join this group, you must practice and audition at the beginning of the year. Those who make it are in charge of filling the air with joyous music twice a day for the rest of the Yale community.

For this exciting visit, Yale SOM students met at Evans Hall and walked down to the tower together, stopping to learn along the way about the old buildings where Yale SOM was once located. Once at Harkness Tower, we were met by one of the carilloneurs and climbed up the tower to see the bells. We first saw the two practice carillons housed in the tower before heading higher to see the actual bells. During the tour, we were able to experience the carilloneurs playing as we took in the views of New Haven and Yale University from the tower’s balconies. We even got to see some of the people auditioning!

After learning much about the historic Harkness Tower, we headed to one of the university’s newest buildings, Benjamin Franklin College, where we had lunch and toured the facilities. It was a day of learning about Yale’s old and new buildings and traditions.