As the tones roll across the area and rise into the skies, let them remind us of this educational institution and of fine people like Ira Pate and Reba Lowry who contributed to the growth of Pembroke.
- Excerpt from the Bell Tower dedication in 1981
The Lowry Bell Tower, located next to Old Main, and in the middle of The Quad, has been a campus landmark since its dedication on May 10, 1981. UNCP’s alma mater, Hail to UNCP, along with other selections can be heard at noon and 6 p.m. The Lowry Bell Tower underwent a complete renovation during the summer of 2003.
Lowry Bell Tower is named after the late Ira Pate Lowry (1906 - 1992) and his wife Reba Millsaps Lowry (1906 - 1980). The Lowrys contributed $20,000 to pay for the carillon bells and chimes and friends of the university contributed $30,000 for the tower.
Born near Maryville, Tenn., Mrs. Lowry, who wrote the lyrics to Hail to UNCP in 1954, served the university for 40 years. She was an instructor in the Foreign Language Department, advisor to The Indianhead, first Dean of Women, director of the Pembroke Players and women’s basketball coach. She was also the first woman to join the Chancellor’s Club.
Mr. Lowry, from the Elrod community south of Pembroke, organized and served as chair of the Music Department from 1935-57. In 1954, he wrote the music to Hail to UNCP. From 1957-71, he taught music at Pembroke Senior High School.
Bell towers make such wonderful additions and produce such beautiful tone. Music has been such a part of my life. This tower will be beautiful to the ear as well as the eye.
– Ira Pate Lowry
Lowry Bell Tower
Ira Pate Lowry (1906-1992)