Kalamazoo College Guild of Change Ringers

North American Guild of Change Ringers

The Kalamazoo College Guild of Change Ringers comprises students, faculty, alumni, and members of the local tower. We practice the ancient art of English change ringing at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel (8 bells, 9cwt).

  • Email: Rob Kakuk: or www.nagcr.org
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/KChangeRinging
  • Tower: Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo (8 bells, 9cwt)

Kalamazoo College Guild of Change RingersThe bells, cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England, were installed in 1984 as a 150th birthday present to the college. Change ringing bells are uncommon in this country; Kalamazoo’s tower was only the 16th, and this is the only place in Michigan where these bells can be found.

Change ringing is a unique form of bell ringing, requiring intense concentration and teamwork among the ringers to achieve the distinctive cascading sound of ever-changing sequences.

“Change Ringing is…
A team sport
A musical performance
An antique art &
A demanding pattern-based exercise
…All at once!”
(…North American Guild of Change Ringers)

Ringing Schedule

The bells can be heard at most Friday chapel services, and before and after many weddings, concerts, and other events.

Weekly practices are generally held on Mondays & Wednesdays from 19:00-21:00. Visiting ringers and new learners are welcome. Please contact us before travelling any distance to attend.

Come learn about change ringing at Stetson Chapel Bell Tower on Mondays during group practice or Wednesdays 19:30-20:30 during lessons (which are free!)

Come on in from the Mandel side of the bell tower and hang out by/on the stairs or just outside the tower in the chapel lobby until we have finished ringing (just a few minutes). This is a safety measure, but once the bells are in a safe position we can talk about ringing!

For Kalamazoo ringing weekend dates and information about ringing events elsewhere, see the North American Guild Events Calendar.

Bell Dedication Weight Diameter Note Comment
Treble Lucinda Hinsdale Stone 344 lbs 23″   A Named for Lucinda Hinsdale Stone, first principal of the “Female Department” at Kalamazoo College and national pioneer in women’s education. Together with her husband, J. A. B. Stone, she strove for progressive education for both men and women. Inscription: She openeth her mouth with wisdom. (Proverbs 31:26)
2nd  James A. B. Stone 360 lbs 235/8″   G# Named for James A. B. Stone, first president of Kalamazoo College. He led the foundering young College from near extinction to stability, and created the tradition of excellence in teaching at Kalamazoo.
Inscription: And the light shineth in darkness. (John 1:5)
3rd Madelon Stockwell 392 lbs 243/4″   F# Named for Madelon Stockwell, the first woman graduate of the University of Michigan. She began her college education at Kalamazoo and was supported for entry at the university by her mentor, Lucinda Hinsdale Stone.
Inscription: O sing unto the Lord a new song. (Psalm 98:1)
4th Thomas W. Merrill 414 lbs 26″   E Named for Thomas W. Merrill, Baptist minister and co-founder of Kalamazoo College. He created the mission of the College, and provided its Baptist heritage.
Inscription: He hath done marvelous things. (Psalm 98:1)
5th Jeremiah Hall 512 lbs 28″   D Named for Jeremiah Hall, who gave invaluable support to the fledgling College as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo.
Inscription: Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 106:1)
6th  Titus Bronson 556 lbs 291/2″   C# Named for Titus Bronson, first permanent settler in the Kalamazoo area. The city of Kalamazoo was originally known as the Village of Bronson.
Inscription: Every valley shall be exalted. (Isaiah 40:3)
7th Arthur Gaylord Slocum 768 lbs 321/2″   B Named for Arthur Gaylord Slocum, the sixth president of Kalamazoo College. He came to office in one of the darkest periods of the College’s history, and through his leadership brought national recognition to the school.
Inscription: How lovely is thy dwelling place. (Psalm 84:1)
Tenor Caleb Eldred  1024 lbs 36″   A Named for Caleb Eldred, co-founder of the College. He secured the first charter for the institution and served for more than thirty years as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Inscription: God is our refuge and our strength. (Psalm 46:1)