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"Penn State Alma Mater"
Writer Fred Lewis Pattee

The "Penn State Alma Mater" is the official alma mater of the The Pennsylvania State University. The song was accepted by the university in 1901.



Because Penn State lacked an alma mater, Fred Lewis Pattee, Professor of American Literature, wrote lyrics and published them freelance in April 1901. He encouraged suggestions from other writers, but his lyrics were chosen to go with the tune of Cauviere's "Lead Me On", a song played at commencement. Pattee felt it was a good match, as it was well-suited for male voices.

Pattee's song premiered at an alumni dinner during Commencement Week in June 1901. Governor James Beaver, President of the Board of Trustees, called it "the official song of Penn State", and University President George Atherton accepted it as the official alma mater.

Pattee's original 1901 lyrics contained six verses, but the last two were later dropped. The original lyrics also contained the phrases "When we stood at boyhood's gate" and "Thou didst mold us ... into men", as the university was primarily male-oriented at the beginning of the 20th century, although some concern had been expressed at the time because Penn State had been coed since 1871. In Pattee's posthumously-published autobiography, however, he recommended changing the phrasing into "childhood" and a repeat of "dear old State", as the university was coeducational. This change occurred in 1975, declared as "International Women's Year" by the United Nations. However, many students still sing along with the old lyrics. Also, many students chant Austin Scott's name during the final verse, lampooning the former running back's legal troubles.


For the glory of old State,

For her founders strong and great,

For the future that we wait,

Raise the song, raise the song.

Sing our love and loyalty,

Sing our hopes that bright and free

Rest, O mother dear, with thee,

All with thee, all with thee.

When we stood at childhood's gate,

Shapeless in the hands of fate,

Thou didst mold us, dear old State,

Dear old State, dear old State.

May no act of ours bring shame,

To one heart that loves thy name.

May our lives but swell thy fame,

Dear old State, dear old State.

(verses 5 and 6 are rarely performed any longer)
Soon we know a guiding hand

Will disperse our little band,

Yet we'll ever loyal stand

State to thee, State to thee

Then Rah! Rah! for dear old State,

For our love can ne'er abate!

Ring the song with joy elate

Loud and long, loud and long.

See also

External links



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