New Webster Alma Mater Announced, Debut Performance April 23

| April 21, 2015
The Centennial Committee congratulates music composition student Christopher Poetz, winner of the contest to create the new Webster University alma mater.

The Centennial Committee congratulates music composition student Christopher Poetz, creator of the new Webster University alma mater and contest winner.

Webster University has a new alma mater, and the community will be able to hear it for the first time at noon on Thursday, April 23.

All are invited to the presentation and performance that day in the Thompson Music Building Recital Hall where “Webster U. You Are Our Home,” the winning composition by Webster student Christopher Poetz., will be performed.

In recognition of the Webster University Centennial, the University held a contest in early 2015 to create a new alma mater that represents the University’s mission in its second century.

Department of Music chair Jeffrey Carter led this spring’s contest, which was open to submissions from Webster faculty, staff, students and alumni. Poetz’s winning composition was selected based upon the overall appropriateness of the lyrics and music, with particular attention to how the lyrics reflect Webster’s mission, vision and values. Click here to view the lyrics.

A third-year student, Poetz is majoring in music composition. “He’s a sponge — singing in choir, taking instrumental lessons just to learn more to help his craft, studying piano, writing for his fellow students,” Carter said of Poetz. “He’s the kind of kid we all love to teach. And his alma mater composition rose to the top because of its singability, its inclusion of specific elements of Webster’s mission and values, and its universal message that will resonate at all of our campuses around the world.”

As creator of the new alma mater, Poetz takes home the contest’s $2,500 prize.

Alma Mater Performances

In addition to the April 23 performance, “Webster U. You Are Our Home” will be performed at this year’s commencement on May 9 at The Muny in Forest Park, St. Louis. “I am deeply honored that my alma mater submission has been chosen to represent Webster University for the next 100 years!” says Poetz. “I am forever grateful for everything that Webster University has done for me, and so it is nice to be able to give something back.”

The alma mater will also be played at the Staff Appreciation Breakfast on May 12, as well as summer and fall events including the 2015 Homecoming Reunion & Family Weekend Sept. 25-27, the Webster University Centennial Missouri Verses and Voices Concert at Powell Symphony Hall Oct. 4, the Centennial Public Celebration Event Nov. 13 on the home campus, and the Centennial Gala Nov. 14 at Union Station in St. Louis.

Webster’s Alma Mater History

University archives show Webster’s original alma mater was a song called “Dear Webster” and dated 1928. The lyrics were by Anne E. Carr ’28 and the music was by Frances “Frank” R. Ward ’29.  An article in the student newspaper at the time described the song’s “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.”

In 1945, a new alma mater emerged from a contest held in conjunction with a spring musical production. The song contest was won by Inge d’Alquen Huber and Peggy Versen ’45 with the song “There is a College Called Webster.” Students were invited to try 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.”

In celebration of Webster University’s centennial in 2015, a contest to compose a new alma mater was held, open to Webster University faculty, staff, student body and alumni.


Category: Alumni, Centennial, Student Affairs and News, Webster Events, Webster News

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