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Game Day in Chapel Hill

It’s Game Day

Alumni, students and fans are invited to climb the Bell Tower prior to most Saturday home football games. Take in the stunning views from this campus landmark and be sure to make time to visit Tar Heel Town, snap your photo with Rameses and get your face painted. GAA member dues make these experiences possible.

The Bell Tower Climb opens three hours prior to kickoff and closes one hour before the start of each Saturday home football game. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Bell Tower Climb will not take place before the N.C. State game on Nov. 24.

Bell Tower Facts

  • Dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1931, the Bell Tower was a gift to UNC from John Motley Morehead, class of 1891, and Rufus Lenoir Patterson, to commemorate the dedication the two families had to the University.
  • The architecture firm, McKim, Mead and White oversaw the project which began construction in March 1930.
  • The Bell Tower cost $100,000 to build (that’s about $1,508,916. today).
  • The Bell Tower has 128 steps, stands at 172 feet tall and a clock face that is nine feet wide.
  • The tower is made of red brick and Indiana limestone, with Guastavino tile work in the arches.
  • The tower is surrounded by a maze-like landscape of lawn and hedges designed by William C. Coker, the botany professor who created the campus Arboretum.
  • The original belfry had a carillon of 12 bells that weighed a total of 14,350 pounds.
  • The largest bell, which tolls the hours, is engraved with the name of Governor John Motley Morehead, a past president of the UNC General Alumni Association. The remaining bells are also engraved with names of the Morehead and Patterson families.
  • In 1998, two additional bells were gifted by Lucinda Wilcox ’58 to give the tower a bigger musical repertoire.
  • Today, there are 14 bells programed by a digital keyboard.
  • The bell tolls every 15 minutes and will occasionally play songs such as “Hark the Sound” or “Carolina Victory.”
  • Chancellor James Moeser was the first chancellor to light the tower at night. The tower has remained lit at night by privately-funded lights since Sept. 14, 2004.
  • Each year on the eve of the First Day of Class, the GAA, with the Order of the Bell Tower, illuminates the Bell Tower in blue and white at the Bell Tower Relighting, in celebration of the start of a new academic school year.

Complimentary Face Painting

Meet us at Tar Heel Town for complimentary face painting available three hours prior to kickoff and closes 45 minutes before the start of most Saturday home football games. Thanks to GAA member dues for making this possible. 

Game-Day Treats for GAA Members

We’re celebrating GAA members prior to most Saturday home football games. Stop by the GAA tent at Tar Heel Town on Polk Place, and show your GAA member card for a treat. Download the UNC Alumni app to access your card or request one for your walletBecause really, we think you’re one Heel of a Tar Heel. Treats available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Yeti Cooler Giveaway

Meet us in Polk Place at Tar Heel Town before the game for your chance to enter to win a Carolina blue Tundra 35 Yeti Cooler. Anyone can enter thanks to our partner, Nationwide. We’ll pick the winner at the end of football season. Good luck!

Game-Day Parking and Policies

Parking Information

  • ADA Parking Information
  • Locations and pricing (campus and town of Chapel Hill)
  • Tar Heel Express Park & Ride

View Interactive Campus Map

View Clear-Bag Policy

Additional Game-Day Information

  • ATM Locations
  • ADA Seating
  • Fan Conduct Policy
  • First Aid
  • Football On-Air Schedule
  • Kenan Stadium Concession Options
  • Lost and Found
  • Prohibited Items
  • Radio Affiliates
Tanea Pettis '95
Assistant Director of Enrichment Programs Affinity/Special Interest Activities, Light on the Hill Society Scholarship
919-843-9694
read my bio

Tanea has been a member of the GAA staff since 1998.  She currently serves as manager of affinity activities, overseeing affinity/special interest reunions, athletics, Homecoming, the Light on the Hill Society scholarship, local outreach and young alumni programming.  She’s a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., carries her NOOK with her wherever she goes and has a large collection of Coca-Cola bottles from across the world in her office.