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New verse of Elon’s alma mater performed at Convocation

Composed by Associate Professor Stephen A. Futrell in the Department of Music, a “celebratory verse” that originally debuted as part of the university’s Ever Elon fundraising campaign was formally recognized this spring as a permanent addition to the institution’s alma mater.

The Elon Camerata

The Elon Camerata performed a newly expanded alma mater on April 2, 2014, during Spring Convocation in Alumni Gym.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert recently recognized a new “celebratory verse” as a permanent addition to what had been a three-verse song.

The celebratory verse by Associate Professor Stephen A. Futrell was inserted between the second and third original verses. It debuted in 2008 at the launch of the Ever Elon campaign but had not been used until Wednesday, just days after Lambert’s formal recognition.

The song now reads (with the addition in bold font):

Sons of Elon, daughters too,
Bring their praise and homage true.
In thy keeping there will be
Words and deeds to honor thee.
Hearken to the song they're singing,
And the loyalty they're bringing.
Alma Mater, they will cherish thee;
Alma Mater, they will cherish thee.

Proud, the oak trees on thy hill
Offer shade and shadow still
Green the fields around thee lie;
Blue the Carolina sky.
Stately rise thy halls of learning,
Toward their portals we are turning.
Alma Mater, we will cherish thee;
Alma Mater, we will cherish thee.

Ever Elon, ever true,
Hearts and minds and faith renew.
We your stewards with love proclaim,
“Carry forth the Phoenix Flame!”
We’ll transform together yearning
For a future brightly burning.
Ever Elon we will cherish thee!
Ever Elon we will cherish thee!

Elon, ever lead us on
To a bright and happy dawn;
Teach us still to love and pray,
Guide us to a nobler day.
Joyous music lies before us,
Memories to swell the chorus.
Alma Mater, we will cherish thee;
Alma Mater, we will cherish thee.

“Thank you, Stephen, for sharing these beautiful lyrics and for sharing your talents with us,” Lambert said at Spring Convocation.

 The alma mater originated in 1998 with lyrics by William D. Ellis, a poet, retired teacher and father of an Elon alum. Sung to the melody of the medieval hymn “Gaudeamus Igitur,” it is used for campus ceremonial and sporting events, including convocations and commencements.

Though the alma mater is now comprised of four verses, the Elon community, in consultation with cultural programs, is welcome to use either the original three-verse alma mater or include the celebratory verse when singing the alma mater at university events.

Eric Townsend,
Staff
4/3/2014 12:35 PM