Clock Hands Tradition Rekindled

Healy's famed clock hands were noticeably absent after their April 30 theft.

Healy’s famed clock hands were noticeably absent after their April 30 theft.

More than two weeks after the clock hands on the front face of Healy Tower went missing, the mystery of who took them remains largely unsolved.

After confirming the theft of the front hands, which went missing April 30, the university removed the set on the back of Healy Tower to assess damage to the clock and reinstall dismantled security systems.

The following week, on May 8, the university replaced the missing hands on the front face of the clock with a spare pair that had previously been kept in storage. The hands on the back face of the clock were reinstalled at the same time.

According to Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh, damages totaled about $9,000.

Stealing the clock hands from Healy Tower is a long-standing tradition whose frequency has decreased in recent years. In the 1960s, the hands were stolen so frequently that the university stopped replacing them between thefts.

The hands were most recently stolen by Andrew Hamblen (SFS ’07) and Wyatt Gjullin (COL ’09) in 2005. After a two-week investigation by the Department of Public Safety, the two students admitted to climbing construction scaffolding and entering the tower through a broken window.

Hamblen and Gjullin were placed on academic probation and assigned 75 and 100 community service hours, respectively, though expulsion was initially considered.

“When I learned of the tradition of stealing the Healy clock hands freshman year and [after] reading various publications about the history associated with the tower, I decided that I eventually wanted to contribute to the survival of the tradition before I graduated,” Hamblen told The Hoya at the time. “I intended no destruction or ill will to the university in taking the hands, simply to contribute to one aspect of what makes this a special place.”

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