Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Alma Mater

As graduation approaches here on campus and my four years at Davis College comes to a close I have started thinking about the words of our Alma Mater.

On the banks of Susquehanna
In God's chosen place
Stands our dear old Davis College*,
Subject of His grace.

Davis College*, how we love you
And your teachers dear.
We will all pray daily for you
Though we're far from here.

[to be sung by graduating class]
We must part now, for He calls us
To a wider field;
And though we are loath to leave you,
For His sake, we yield.

Davis College*, don't forget us
As we go our way;
And while we are in His service,
For us, won't you pray?

*The name where Davis College is now began as P.B.T.S. and after we became a college it became Practical Bible in place of P.B.T.S.
It is not known when it was exactly written, but it was written by Irene Major Clark who was a corresponding secretary at PBTS during 1917-22. The term Alma mater is Latin for "nourishing mother" and it has been a part of colleges and universities for close to 1000 years. The tune that is used is that of "Annie Lisle." ""Annie Lisle" is the name of an 1857 ballad by Boston, Massachusetts songwriter H. S. Thompson and published by Oliver Ditson & Co. It is about the death of a young maiden, by what some have speculated to be tuberculosis, although the lyric does not explicitly mention tuberculosis, or "consumption" as it was called then. The song might have slipped into obscurity had the tune not been adopted by countless colleges, universities, and high schools worldwide as their respective alma mater songs" (wikipedia.org). It was first used for Cornell University as an Alma Mater musical score in 1870 and it was adopted by our PBTS and it continue to this day.

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