Alma mater

Alma mater (Latin: alma mater, lit. 'nourishing mother'; pl. [rarely used] almae matres) is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one formerly attended.[1] In US usage it can also mean the school from where one graduated.[2] The phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students.[3] Fine arts will often depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor.

Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele,[4] and later in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary. It entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum ("nurturing mother of studies"), which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world.[5] It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that literally means a "nursling" or "one who is nourished".[6]

Columbia University, NYC (June 2014) - 09
Alma Mater statue by Daniel Chester French, Columbia University, New York City

Etymology

Legate John, Alma Mater Cantabrigia Emblem 1600 (Golden Chaine print)
John Legate's Alma Mater for Cambridge in 1600

Although alma (nourishing) was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele, Venus, and other mother goddesses, it was not frequently used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin.[7] In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess:

Denique caelesti sumus omnes semine oriundi
omnibus ille idem pater est, unde alma liquentis
umoris guttas mater cum terra recepit (2.991–93)

We are all sprung from that celestial seed,
all of us have same father, from whom earth,
the nourishing mother, receives drops of liquid moisture

After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary. "Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary.[7]

The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press.[8][9] The device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia ("nourishing mother Cambridge") is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown.[10][11] In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is often cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward.[12][13]

Special usage

Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name. The University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum (nourishing mother of studies), refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, Poland, have similarly used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics. At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name.

In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding.[14] At Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society.

Monuments

Alma Mater, Lorado Taft
Alma Mater (1929, Lorado Taft), University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

The ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant (e.g., at the Palatine Hill in Rome).

Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library; the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign also has an Alma Mater statue by Lorado Taft. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.

Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, and it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero.[15]

References

  1. ^ "alma", oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "alma mater". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Ayto, John (2005). Word Origins (2nd ed.). London: A&C Black. ISBN 9781408101605. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  4. ^ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition
  5. ^ "Our history – University of Bologna". Unibo.it. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  6. ^ Cresswell, Julia (2010). Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins. Oxford University Press. p. 12. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b Sollors, Werner (1986). Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture. Oxford University Press. p. 78. ISBN 9780198020721.
  8. ^ Stokes, Henry Paine (1919). Cambridge stationers, printers, bookbinders, &c. Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes. p. 12. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  9. ^ Roberts, S. C. (1921). A History of the Cambridge University Press 1521–1921. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  10. ^ Stubbings, Frank H. (1995). Bedders, Bulldogs and Bedells: A Cambridge Glossary (2nd ed.). p. 39.
  11. ^ Perkins, William (1600). A Golden Chaine: Or, the Description of Theologie, containing the order and causes of salvation and damnation, according to God's word. Cambridge: University of Cambridge. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  12. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Alma mater". Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  13. ^ Ward, Richard (1710). The Life of the Learned and Pious Dr. Henry More, Late Fellow of Christ's College in Cambridge. London: Joseph Downing. p. 148. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  14. ^ "William & Mary – History & Traditions". wm.edu.
  15. ^ Cremata Ferrán, Mario. "Dos rostros, dos estatuas habaneras". Opus Habana. Retrieved 21 January 2015.

External links

Allegra Versace

Allegra Versace Beck (Italian pronunciation: [alˈleːɡra verˈsaːtʃe ˈbɛk]; born 30 June 1986), commonly known as Allegra Versace, is an Italian heiress and socialite. Since 2011 Allegra has been a director of Gianni Versace S.p.A. and has worked in New York City as a theatrical dresser.

Alma Mater (Illinois sculpture)

The Alma Mater is a bronze statue by sculptor Lorado Taft, a beloved symbol of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The 10,000-pound statue depicts a mother-figure wearing academic robes and flanked by two attendant figures representing "Learning" and "Labor", after the University's motto "Learning and Labor." Sited at the corner of Green and Wright Streets at the heart of the campus, the statue is an iconic figure for the university and a popular backdrop for student graduation photos. It is appreciated for its romantic, heraldic overtones and warmth of pose. The statue was removed from its site at the entrance to the university for restoration in 2012 and was returned to its site in the spring of 2014.

Brown University Alma Mater

Brown University traditions hold that two songs, "Alma Mater" and "Ever True to Brown" are sung at public events and gatherings related to the university. The traditional alma mater song, "Old Brown," was created in 1860 and "Ever True to Brown," the second school fight song, was written by Donald Jackson (Class of 1909). The song is played by the Brown Band at major varsity athletic events and at formal events such as Convocation and Commencement. An unofficial version offers humorous alternative lyrics.

Far Above Cayuga's Waters

"Far Above Cayuga's Waters" is Cornell University's alma mater. The lyrics were written circa 1870 by roommates Archibald Croswell Weeks (Class of 1872), and Wilmot Moses Smith (Class of 1874), and set to the tune of "Annie Lisle", a popular 1857 ballad by H. S. Thompson about a heroine dying of tuberculosis.

Joe Alwyn

Joseph Matthew Alwyn (born 21 February 1991) is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in the films Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016) and The Favourite (2018).

Johny Srouji

Johny Srouji (Hebrew: ג'וני סרוג'י, Arabic: جوني سروجي) is Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige (, FYE-gee; born June 2, 1973) is an American film producer who has been the president of Marvel Studios since 2007. The films he has produced have a combined worldwide box office gross of over $22 billion. Feige is a member of the Producers Guild of America. In 2019, he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Black Panther.

Kevin Tsujihara

Kevin Ken Tsujihara (born October 25, 1964) is a Japanese American businessman, and former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment. He succeeded Barry Meyer as CEO in March 2013, and as chairman in December 2013, having previously served as president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Upon assuming the role of CEO, Tsujihara became the first Asian American to run a major Hollywood studio. He resigned in March 2019, following a casting couch scandal.

Knut Helle

Knut Helle (19 December 1930 – 27 June 2015) was a Norwegian historian. A professor at the University of Bergen from 1973 to 2000, he specialized in the late medieval history of Norway. He has contributed to several large works.

List of United States Democratic Party presidential tickets

This is a list of the candidates for the offices of President of the United States and Vice President of the United States of the modern Democratic Party of the United States.

List of United States Republican Party presidential tickets

This is a list of the candidates for the offices of President of the United States and Vice President of the United States of the Republican Party of the United States.

MacKenzie Bezos

MacKenzie S. Bezos (née Tuttle; born April 7, 1970) is an American novelist. In 2014, Bezos founded the anti-bullying organization Bystander Revolution, where she serves as executive director.

In 1993, MacKenzie Bezos married Jeff Bezos, who later became the founder and CEO of Amazon, making them the richest couple in the world. They announced their intent to divorce in January 2019.

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham (born April 5, 1980) is an American journalist and center-right journalist. She is a contributing editor for Townhall Magazine, a senior writer at The Federalist, and a CNN contributor. She was previously a Fox News contributor and an editor-at-large for Hot Air.

Notre Dame, Our Mother

"Notre Dame, Our Mother" is the alma mater (official song of devotion) of the University of Notre Dame, a private, Catholic research university in northern Indiana. The song is addressed to "Notre Dame", a reference to both the university and its patroness and namesake, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joseph Casasanta, a 1923 Notre Dame graduate, composed the song and it was first performed at coach Knute Rockne's funeral in 1931.

The Rev. Charles O'Donnell, C.S.C., president of the university at the time of composition, wrote the song's lyrics in honor of the university's patroness, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Besides the usual role an alma mater plays for the school, it is part of the post-game show of the Band of the Fighting Irish and is the traditional conclusion to Notre Dame pep rallies, football games, other sporting events, and major religious services, often sung before the last hymn at Mass. When singing the alma mater, students often put their arms over each other's shoulders and sway as they sing. This is especially common at the end of home football games.

Paddy Lowe

Paddy Lowe FREng (born 8 April 1962 in Nairobi, Kenya) is a British motor racing engineer, who was a former Chief Technical Officer at Williams Racing. He was also previously the Executive Director (Technical) of the Mercedes Formula One team.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Stephen Thomas Erlewine (born June 18, 1973) is an American music critic and senior editor for the online music database AllMusic. He is the author of many artist biographies and record reviews for AllMusic, as well as a freelance writer, occasionally contributing liner notes.Erlewine was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a nephew of the former musician and AllMusic founder Michael Erlewine. He studied at the University of Michigan, where he majored in English, and was a music editor (1993–94), and then arts editor (1994–1995), of the school's paper The Michigan Daily. He has contributed to a number of books, including All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul, and All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-Hop.Erlewine currently resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two step-daughters.

Syracuse University Alma Mater

The Syracuse University Alma Mater is the school song for Syracuse University, a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. It was written by Junius W. Stevens in 1893, and is based on the then-popular song Annie Lisle. It was first sung under the title "Song of Syracuse" by the University Glee and Banjo Club on March 15, 1893. The song includes three verses, but only the first verse is commonly sung.

University of Bologna

The University of Bologna (Italian: Università di Bologna, UNIBO), founded in 1088, is the oldest university in continuous operation, as well as one of the leading academic institutions in Italy and Europe. It is one of the most prestigious Italian universities, commonly ranking in the first places of national rankings.It was the first place of study to use the term universitas for the corporations of students and masters, which came to define the institution (especially its famous law school) located in Bologna, Italy. The University's crest carries the motto Alma mater studiorum ("nourishing mother of studies") and the date A.D. 1088, and it has about 86,500 students in its 11 schools. It has campuses in Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It also has a school of excellence named Collegio Superiore di Bologna. An associate publisher of the University of Bologna is Bononia University Press S.p.A. (BUP).

University of Pittsburgh Alma Mater

The alma mater of the University of Pittsburgh was adopted soon after the University changed its name in 1908 from the Western University of Pennsylvania to its current moniker. Lyrics were written by George M. P. Baird, class of 1909 and were set to the tune of what was then the Austrian National Anthem (adopted as the German National Anthem in 1922). A new tune for the "Alma Mater" hymn was composed by Charles W. Scovel, class of 1883, but it was not widely adopted and was either lost or became obscure.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.