Alma mater

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Alma Mater Sheet Music, circa 1955

The Alma Mater of the College of William and Mary was written by James Southall Wilson, class of 1904, set to the tune of Annie Lisle, an old Welsh ballad by H.S. Thompson (Athletics--Cheers and Fight Songs, University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary). The tune has been used by high schools and universities across the United States as their alma mater, including Cornell University.[1] The line "Bless the College of our boyhood" in the Alma Mater was changed to "Bless the College of our fathers" in the 1928-1929 student handbook (the first class of women students were admitted in fall 1918). There were discussions and contests to change the Alma Mater in at least 1941 and circa 1959.

1902-1928

Hark! the students voices swelling

Strong and true and clear.

Alma Mater's love they're telling,

Ringing far and near.


Chorus


William and Mary loved of old

Hark upon the gale,

Hear the thunders of our chorus

Alma Mater--Hail.


All thy sons are faithful to thee,

Through their College days,

Singing loud from hearts that love thee,

Alma Mater's praise.


Iron-shod or golden-sandaled

Shall the years go by

Yet our hearts shall weave about thee

Love that cannot die.


God, our Father, hear our voices

Listen to our cry;

Bless the College of our boyhood,

Let her never die.


J. S. Wilson, 1902

1928-

Hark! the students voices swelling

Strong and true and clear.

Alma Mater's love they're telling,

Ringing far and near.


Chorus


William and Mary loved of old

Hark upon the gale,

Hear the thunders of our chorus

Alma Mater--Hail.


All thy sons are faithful to thee,

Through their College days,

Singing loud from hearts that love thee,

Alma Mater's praise.


Iron-shod or golden-sandaled

Shall the years go by

Yet our hearts shall weave about thee

Love that cannot die.


God, our Father, hear our voices

Listen to our cry;

Bless the College of our fathers,

Let her never die.


J. S. Wilson, 1902

References

External Links

William and Mary Choir singing the Alma Mater

Need help?

To search for further material, see Finding Materials in the SCRC for an introduction to the SCRC Collections Database, card catalogs, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, etc.

Questions? Contact the SCRC at spcoll@wm.edu or 221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary (hours).

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fire, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.