|Alma Mater for Webster University|
Dear Webster (1928-1945)
The original alma mater for Webster University appears to be a song called "Dear Webster". The lyrics were by Anne E. Carr (class of 1928) and the music was by Frances "Frank" R. Ward (class of 1929). The song was first mentioned in the student newspaper in June 1928.1 Official publication came in 1929 when the sheet music appeared, copyrighted by Hunleth Music Co. (The Hunleth Music Co. archives are located at the University of Illinois.) An article in the student newspaper stated the following about the publication: "Within its pages, sound the brave notes of the undying love of Loretto girls for their chosen mother, taking form in simple heart-felt words and music that marches gallantly."2
There is a College Called Webster (1945-2015)
In 1945, a new alma mater emerged from a contest held in conjunction with a spring musical production called "In Search of a Song". One stated purpose of the event was "a search for a new song which will typify Webster."3 A later article mentions that students throughout Webster were trying their hand at writing a song "that will express the spirit of W.C., and will compete favorably with the other songs and music to be performed".4 A student handbook reported that the contest was decided by a board of judges which included at least one nun and one priest on the faculty.5
The song contest was won by Inge d'Alquen Huber and Peggy Versen (class of 1945) who wrote a song called "There is a College Called Webster." An interview with the composers ran in the student newspaper a few weeks after the musical.6
"There is a College Called Webster" lyrics (unfortunately no sheet music is available)
Webster U. You Are Our Home (2015- )
As part of Webster's centennial celebration, a contest was held for a new alma mater. Department of Music chair Jeffrey Carter led this spring’s contest, open to submissions from Webster faculty, staff, students and alumni. The winning composition was by Christopher Poetz (Class of 2016), who conducted the first public performance of the song on April 23, 2015.7
A similar contest was held to find a fight song for the university. Visit our Fight Song page for information on the song and its winning composer.
1Echoes of the halls. (1928, June 4). The Web, vol. IV, no. 13, p. 2.
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