Claflin Alma Mater Undergoes Minor Revision

Aug 07, 2014

The alma mater of Claflin University has undergone a change to the chorus, a decision President Henry N. Tisdale explains is more reflective of the University’s founding history of inclusiveness.

The change has been made only to the third line of the chorus. The new third line of the chorus is “May we all be leal and loyal,” instead of the previous “May thy sons be leal and loyal.” 

“Claflin University was founded on the premise of access to all, regardless of race, creed, color or gender,” said President Henry N. Tisdale. “We felt that it was time to make this change in the wording to reflect what our founders envisioned for Claflin University.”

Dr. Isaiah McGee, chair of the Department of Music and Director of the Concert Choir, revised the alma mater, including the music, to reflect the change. 

“I think it is a positive and necessary change,” McGee said. “The alma mater represents the University as a whole and since our founding we have been open to serve all students.  We want Claflin’s alma mater to be all-encompassing and inclusive because that is what we represent here with our vast diversity.”

The new version of the alma mater will be sung during New Student Orientation at the Parting Ceremony on Sunday, August 10, 2014.

Following is the new alma mater in its entirety.


When the sun of Carolina

Mounts the eastern sky

Proudly stands our Alma Mater,

On the hilltop high.

When the evening twilight deepens

And the shadows fall,

Linger long the golden sunbeams,

O’er the western wall.

When the Shades of night shall gather,

Dark the heart may be,

Still the rays of youth and love,

Shall linger long o’er thee.


Orange, Maroon, float for aye

Claflin fair o’er thee,

*May we all be leal and loyal

To thy memory


Words: Etta Butler Rowe

Revised by Isaiah McGee, 2014

 *original text “May thy sons be leal and loyal”

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