W.E. O'Bryant Bell Tower Brick Inscription
Add Your Name to the Legacy
Engraved bricks are only $75.00 and are ideal for many occasions:
- To Memorialize a loved one
- To celebrate anniveraries and holidays
- For graduations and birthdays
About Dr. W. E. O’Bryant
Dr. William Edward O’Bryant was born in Newelton, Louisiana. He was one of several children born to the late John and Angeline O’Bryant.
Responding to a desire to further his education, he came to Pine Bluff when he was quite young and enrolled in Branch Normal College. After completing his courses there, he attended the School of Pharmacy Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating with the Class of 1910.
Dr. O’Bryant, a proud graduate of Branch Normal College, served as AM&N College Alumni Association President for more than 28 years, and president Emeritus for nine years.
He was a forceful leader, along with serving as President of the AM&N College alumni Association, he was also a member of the Twentieth Century Club, an organizer of the Jefferson County Negro Voters Association and former president of the negro Business men’s League of Pine Bluff.
Dr. O’Bryant owned and operated the West End Drug Store in Pine Bluff for more than fifty years. He was married to the former Ladye B. Stringer of Nashville, Tennesee. Dr. O’Bryant passed away on July 20, 1967.
The History of the Bell Tower
The Bell Tower, standing majestically in the center of the quadrangle, is a symbolic representation of unity, commitment, pride, fortitude, and industry. It is our rallying point. The Tower was conceived during the administratin of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr., who served 29 years as President of AM&N College and one year as UAPB’s Chancellor.
State funds were unavailable for such a project. But once the decision was made, Dr. W.E. O’Bryant, then president of the National Alumni Association, and the Alumni, agreed to sponsor the project and help finance it.
Alumni pledged and contributed. Students who wanted to be a part of this exciting efforts contributed nickels, dimes, and quarters. Classes and organizations also held fundraisers and contributed. By 1943, the Bell Tower was on its way.
The tower was designed by William “Wild Bill” Lee, Director of Trades. Labor was provided by students and teachers under the supervision of Alexander A. Mazique, an instructor of bricklaying. The project was completed in 1947. Thousands of students since have made the Bell Tower a focal point of campus life. It is not just bricks and mortar, but it is a sacred legacy that your predecessors, students before, you sacrificed for, paid for, and build. You now have the opportunity to add your name to this legacy.