UGA students celebrate championship win with tradition of ringing chapel bell

On the heels of the Bulldogs’ championship win, University of Georgia students and alumni spent the day ringing the chapel bell.

It’s a tradition nearly 130 years strong: ringing the bell after a UGA football victory.

Freshman Alaina Terrone rang it for her first time ever.

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“I didn’t even do it for my first day of classes, so it was really awesome to experience this,” she told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims.

To attend a school with back-to-back championship wins, she said, is something special.

“Oh that’s incredible,” Terrone said. “I feel like more and more people will want to come to UGA. Just knowing that we’re national champions for two years in a row and everything, it’s awesome.”

Freshman Arissa Shepherd also came to ring the bell, and to savor the moment.

“You have something to bring all the students together – football,” Shepherd said. “It’s really good for camaraderie, really good for the campus.”

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Another freshman, Helaina Landrum, watched the game during a viewing party at Stegeman Coliseum Monday night.

As she approached the chapel bell, she reflected on the euphoria of the night before when thousands of fans rushed into the streets of Athens.

“I mean, the streets were flooded,” Landrum said. “You can’t even describe the feeling. It’s just like that once-in-a-lifetime feeling, you know.”

Not just students showed up to ring the bell; alumni and other fans drove from miles around to let it ring.

Mitch Kennerly took his 10-year-old son, Jace, out of school to drive to Athens from Commerce.

“We’re just big Dawg fans, been fans our entire life, so it’s a lot of fun,” Kennerly said. “We had to come ring the bell.”

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Amie Dunford, a 1999 graduate of UGA, drove from Watkinsville.

“Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting,” Dunford said. “We were a little nervous last week when they were playing Ohio State, but they pulled out a good victory last night.”

She said hearing that bell ring is a sweet sound.

“I didn’t do it last year, so this year when they won I said yes, I have to go ring the bell this time,” Dunford said.

For freshman Thi Tran, the back-to-back victories – and this lone bell – are a rallying cry. “It’s just awesome,” Tran said. “It’s awesome seeing how the community comes together whenever that happens.”

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