As Colorado State University alumna Nila Hobbs toured the newly renovated Lory Student Center in 2015, she noticed something was missing.
“What are they going to do about that big clock that was on the wall across from the old information desk?” she wondered. That clock, after all, had made quite an impression on Hobbs when she was a student in the 1960s and ‘70s.
“The clock was the first reference point given to me as a new freshman,” said Hobbs. “As I made the walk back and forth from Corbett Hall to the student center, someone told me to ‘meet under the clock.’”
The student center quickly became her home away from home while at school, and Hobbs remembers referring to the clock on a daily basis as she hurried to her job at the LSC Theater, or to class, or to an event.
As she continued her tour of the revitalized LSC that day, she learned about new features in the building. She learned that the theater’s rich history was captured in the building’s west-side colored glass panels, and the floor, and that several of the center’s original features, including the main stairway, had been retained.
But nothing was planned for the clock.
Time for a new clock
And that got Hobbs, who has a bachelor’s in mathematics and an MBA, thinking.
“Colorado State was a big part of my life, and it prepared me to work in a career that I was passionate about,” she said. “I have been a CSU donor since I started my first job, and I had included CSU in my estate plans, but I had not yet finalized the document indicating my wishes.”
So, Hobbs worked with LSC executives to craft plans for a clock in the LSC. She envisioned a train station clock above the flow of traffic, where both sides could be seen from a distance. She also wanted the clock to connect CSU’s past, present, and future. That connection came in the clock’s chime: the peal of Old Main’s bell, recently returned to a place of honor outside the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center, which has a special significance for Hobbs.
“I walked by Old Main the afternoon before it burned [in 1970],” she recalled, “and going into the building had always been on my list. That day, my inner voice said to go in and look around, but I thought I would have plenty of time to do that. Old Main burned down that night.”
Thanks to support from the Associated Students of Colorado State University and generous CSU donors, Old Main’s bell was refurbished and installed at the new Canvas Stadium in 2017, where it once again rings out to celebrate Rams victories.
Thanks to Hobbs’ vision and donation, the new Ram Clock is now mounted on the wall of the east-west hallway, above the LSC Food Court, clearly visible to students and visitors. Its chime can be heard every hour, on the hour.
“My hope is that the Ram Clock can continue to act as a reference point for students, staff and visitors to meet up on campus, now and into the future,” Hobbs said.