For whom does the bell toll? PhD students, naturally

The bells are ringing out for the University of Otago's doctor of philosophy students.

The university has created a new form of celebration for when students hand in their theses.

Human nutrition PhD candidate Claudia Leong (29) got to ring the campus bell earlier this year, and said that it was good to have her friends there to see it.

''It's like a happy feeling, a sense of accomplishment to be able to complete it,'' she said.

The bell-ringing celebration began in March, when the university decided to introduce something more substantial than the usual chocolate fish when students handed in their theses.

Human nutrition PhD candidate Claudia Leong prepares to give the University of Otago bell a whack. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Human nutrition PhD candidate Claudia Leong prepares to give the University of Otago bell a whack. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The bell was made in Edinburgh and shipped to Dunedin in 1863. It was based at first in the Post Office building in Princes St, before being moved to the university between 1871 and 1877.

It was lost for many years before being returned to the university and set in its new home, the quadrangle between the geology and university clocktower buildings.

A staff member made a recycled rimu mallet with which to ring the bell.

Ms Leong, now working at the university in the human nutrition department as a research fellow, had rung the bell but not yet donned her PhD robes - she still had an oral exam to complete.

From Singapore originally, she completed her undergraduate studies at Massey University, before heading to do her postgraduate studies at Otago.

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