On one Saturday each November, DePauw University and Wabash College play against each other in the rivalry Monon Bell game. This year it will be held at Little Giant Stadium on November 11th at 1 p.m., since DePauw hosted it in 2022. The two west central Indiana schools have faced each other 128 times with Wabash holding a 63-56-9 lead. Since the Monon Bell entered the rivalry in 1932, Wabash leads the series, 44-40-6.
The teams not only play for pride but also for possession of the 300-pound Monon Bell– the trophy that goes to the winning team. Currently, DePauw is in possession of the bell.
The traditional Monon Bell game began in 1890. The two schools had met for 109 years straight, dating back to 1911. Both schools have played every year except for 1897-1899, 1902, 1904, 1910, and 2020..
According to the DePauw website, the idea of a trophy originated in a letter sent to Mr. Bill Fox, former sports editor of The Indianapolis News, from DePauw alum Orien Fifer of the class of 1925. The 1932 game was played on a field covered with ice and snow, the snowfall during the preceding days being so heavy that it was necessary to clear the field with road scrapers. The game ended in a scoreless tie.
The Wabash-DePauw rivalry has also led to attempts to steal the bell. In 1965, a Wabash student appeared on the DePauw campus posing as a Mexican representative interested in developing an exchange program with DePauw. While meeting with the University president, he asked to see the bell. After learning where it was located, the student returned with his friends later and stole it.
DePauw got the bell back in time for the game, which the Tigers won 9-7. DePauw students, wanting to keep the bell safely under wraps, stole it from their own school the week after the game and secretly buried it for 11 months in the north end zone of Blackstock Stadium. Only a handful of students knew of its location. However, the ground froze that week in Greencastle, and the students were barely able to recover it in time for the Wabash team to claim it as the game ended in near darkness.