Fontbonne Traditions

The Significance of the Chain Ceremony

In 1927, the first class of Fontbonne began a tradition that is carried on today.  Originally connected to the shovel used for the Fontbonne’s ground-breaking in 1924, a bronze chain bears the year of the first graduating class at its head, and each subsequent graduating class is connected by square links inscribed with each graduation year.  A new link is added each year at commencement ceremonies to continue this unique part of the University’s history.

The Ringing of the Bell

The women of the Class of 1949 donated a bell for the Ryan Hall Chapel.  For many years, the bell was rung for a variety of occasions including daily prayers.  It is believed that the bell was also rung at each Commencement, with the number of rings coinciding with the year of the graduating class (60 rings in 1960, 74 rings in 1974, and so on.)

In 2000, a new tradition was started and the bell was rung one time for each graduating student as a way for Fontbonne to celebrate each individual student’s effort and success.  Now, all graduating students are invited to participate in the ringing at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony.

The Fontbonne Song

by Mary Pius Neenan, CSJ and John Joseph Bezdek, CSJ

O Fontbonne, we love you,
Your purple and gold,
We pledge our allegiance
Which ne’er shall grow cold,
But strong as the granite
That builds your firm walls
Shall lead us all Godward

Whatever befalls
In youth’s glad fair Maytime
We came to your arms,
Your love has caressed us,
Has shielded from harms.
Your standards have formed us
Your faith has inspired;
We found in your portals
Ideals we desired.

  • Giving To Fontbonne

    Giving To Fontbonne

    Why give? At Fontbonne University, we are proud of our heritage and our tradition of service based on the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Learn more.

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    Alumni Awards

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  • Alumni Resources

    Alumni Resources

    As a member of the Fontbonne University Alumni Association, there are a number of resources available that will help you stay engaged and connected. Learn more.