A Clarkson Mosaic - page 60

Clarkson Tech, dear Clarkson.
Alumni from rich seed one sown,
Sing thy sweet praise in joyus tone
And by their deeds, their worth is known
Clarkson Tech, dear Clarkson.
An editorial by W. Carpenter ’27 in the March 1925
raises a plaintive appeal
for a new tune for the Alma Mater. Returning from a Clarkson-St. Lawrence hockey game, he
remarked how impressed he had been by the Larries singing their Alma Mater:
The real beauty of the tune, the deep solemnness of the words, and the loyal attitude of the singer eclipsed
by far the words, tune, or attitude of any song we sang that evening. We have an ’Alma Mater’, fellows, the words
of which are fully as grand and beautiful as the words of the St. Lawrence ‘Alma Mater’. Perhaps the tune is a little
inferior. If it is, why not have a new one? An ‘Alma Mater’ is the truest, finest expression that an institution can
give that glorious, beautiful, though sometimes hidden, underlying spirit of loyalty and brotherhood. Let’s have
and SING an ’Alma Mater’.
Subsequent students have challenged this Alma Mater. For example, 35 years later in
the December 13, 1939, issue of the
students responses were printed to the question,
“Should our Alma Mater be changed?”
Walter Deuel, senior, BA: I do not believe that anything would be accomplished by changing the Alma Mater. The
weakness of the Alma mater lies, like school spirit, in the hearts of the students. The right spirit is necessary to
make any Alma Mater a success.
Roderick (Ricky) Lucien, senior, IE: An Alma Mater is a song that Techmen will recognize anywhere, anytime it
is played. Suppose a new song is written, how about the old graduates of Tech? How would these fellows know
what it was?
“Butch” Klein, sophomore, ME: Anyone will agree that our Alma Mater certainly does not conform to the
standards of Alma Maters set up in other colleges. An effort has been made, however, to induce Fred Waring to
write us an Alma Mater. His reply to the request stated that he has been swamped with similar requests from many
of the smaller colleges of the country, and that he is working only on those for which he received the most
Gordon Stubbings, senior, ME: Clarkson has and should continue to have an Alma Mater. It is the symbol of unity
and love for the College and to be effective it must be sung by everyone with the power and spirit of the school
behind it. A few years ago, we sang the words to music written by an alumnus. However, it was found that this
tune was too difficult to follow. We therefore returned to the well-known tune of “My Maryland”. If we are to
have an Alma Mater in the future, it is up to each individual person to learn the words and music and when the
time comes, to take the lead and sing it with a will.
Recognizing that the alumni, students, and faculty have long felt the need to an original
Alma Mater, seven years later the Board of Governors [the student government at the time]
opened a song contest in 1949 to find a suitable piece of music embodying the spirit and
tradition of the College as it remains in the nostalgic memory of students and alumni. The
consensus about the entries indicated that the contest should remain open to further entries: 162
to leave the contest open; 132 to accept the first entry; 120 to accepting the second entry; and
40 to retain the present Alma Mater. And remain it did for 30 more years.
Late in 1978, President Robert Plane stated that he did not like the Alma Mater because
he felt it was too unoriginal, was too “insipid and uninspired” [his words] in its music. Thus, he
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