Alma Mater

Singing the Alma Mater at Founder's Day, 2001
Singing the Alma Mater at Founder’s Day, 2001

History

The Alma Mater of Old Dominion University (ODU), along with the Fight Song and Football Fight Song, is one of the songs commonly sung at ODU. The song is traditionally sung during athletic games as well as during special events such as Founder’s Day, Commencement, and Convocation. Words and videos of the ODU Songs are available online.

From 1930 to 1962, when the university was a division and later a college of William & Mary, students would sing the William & Mary Alma Mater. When Old Dominion was granted independent status in 1962, John Foster West updated the lyrics to eliminate any references to William & Mary but kept the same tune. In 1970, Robert Jager, music instructor and later assistant professor who conducted the band, wrote new lyrics and music for the Alma Mater. The second line, originally “Blue and White, hail!” was updated in 1986 when the school colors were changed to blue and silver.

Current Alma Mater (1986-present)

Old Dominion, Hail

Hail to thee our Alma Mater

Blue and Silver, hail!

By the ocean’s billows flying
See them proudly sail!

University young and strong,
We lift our voices in this song,
This our Song of Alma Mater,
Old Dominion, hail!

Old Dominion Alma Mater (1970-1986)

Old Dominion, Hail

Hail to thee our Alma Mater

Blue and White, hail!

By the ocean’s billows flying
See them proudly sail!

University young and strong,
We lift our voices in this song,
This our Song of Alma Mater,
Old Dominion, hail!

Old Dominion College Alma Mater (1962-1970)

Alma Mater, hear our singing
Voices fill the blue,
Over Norfolk waters ringing
In our praise of you. (Chorus)

Chorus:
Old Dominion, new from old
Hallowed halls have grown,
Giving refuge to the bold
You now call your own.

Far and near throughout Tidewater
Haste we to your side,
Every son and every daughter
Singing in our pride. (Chorus)

Banners streaming in the sunlight,
Colors Bule and White
Faces gleaming in the sunlight,
Monarchs in our might! (Chorus)

Let the ages roll forever
As wild breakers do,
Alma Mater, we will never,
Never prove untrue. (Chorus)

Drink with those who came before us
And tomorrow’s throng,
Pledge a toast in solemn chorus
Sing the old school song. (Chorus)

Norfolk Division and College Alma Mater (1930-1962)

Hark! the students’ voices swelling
Strong and true and clear.
Alma Mater’s love they’re telling,
Ringing far and near.

Chorus:
William & Mary loved of old
Hark upon the gale,
Hear the thunder 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.

Resources

  1. Old Dominion University Student Handbooks, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion.
  2. Old Dominion University Commencement Programs, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion.

References

  1. Mace & Crown, Old Dominion University, 1961-present.
  2. Old Dominion University Student Handbooks, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion.
  3. Old Dominion University Commencement Programs, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion.
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