Songs of The Ohio State University

Commencement Processional

O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
For thy parting mother blessing.
Thy sons and daughters we now draw near,
Songs, songs, songs, songs of praise, praise, praise, praise to thee addressing.
Though our hearts sad with a mood of joy,
They are filled with love that naught can alloy;
For thy gracious light on our labors here;
Kept our goals set high and from baseness clear.

O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
When we build on thy foundation,
O may we raise thee a structure fair,
To all, all, to all truth, truth, truth, truth a consecration.
May we buoyantly all our burdens hear,
Be they ours alone or a nation's care;
May our pride e'er rice from service done;
Not from fame or wealth by ill conquest won.

O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
O Alma Mater, the hour has come!
When the ties that bind must lengthen;
Thy mother heart, ever quick with love,
Will fore'ver, will fore'ver, will fore'ver thy children strengthen.
Then, hast nourished us all thy kindly breast,
Wilt thou guide us still on our life's far quest?
And now we pray, as the parting nears;
God to cherish thee through enduring years.

While there were a great many songs about college life, pushing teams on to victory or praising Ohio State, this was the only song written specifically for commencement. It is suspected that Commencement Processional was written as part of the 1916 Ohio State Alumni Association song contest and was probably never used at Ohio State. However, Songs of Ohio State University indicates that Onward Christian Soldiers was used as the commencement processional and The Son of God Goes Forth To War was used as the commencement recessional, circa 1916.

It was not unusual to use church hymns at solemn ceremonies at public and private colleges in this era, as religion was part of campus life. In the early days of Ohio State, a chapel was incorporated in the building of University Hall and the student body attended mandatory daily religious services, from the founding of Ohio State, until 1900. In 1900, the chapel services became weekly, and, by 1918, were no longer part of campus life. In addition, courses of religion and divinity degrees were also offered at Ohio State. As Ohio State started to grow, the religious aspects of campus life started to fade and eventually disappear.

Photo: 1926 Commencement (held in the Armory), Courtesy of The Ohio State University Archives

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Webmaster: Nick Metrowsky
The Ohio State University, BA, History, 1979
Life Member The Ohio State University Alumni Association
Life Member of The Ohio State University President's Club
Annual Member of The Ohio State University Varsity "O" Association

Last Updated: 23 September, 2021

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