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"We Hail Thee Carolina"

We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise
With loyal devotion, remembering the days
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be:
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Since pilgrims of learning, we entered thy walls
And found dearest comrades in thy classic halls
We've honored and loved thee as sons faithfully;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Generations of sons have rejoiced to proclaim
Thy watchword of service, thy beauty and fame;
For ages to come shall their rallying cry be:
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Fair shrine of high honor and truth, thou shalt still
Blaze forth as a beacon, thy mission fulfill,
And crowned by all hearts in a new jubilee:
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

ABOUT THE ALMA MATER

The alma mater was written in 1911 by George A. Wauchope, an English professor at USC, and set to the music of Jonathan E. Spilman's "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton." It was written as a result of the need for this type of school song. A March 1911 issue of the GAMECOCK reported that a year or two earlier the faculty, "realizing we should have a soul stirring alma mater," offered a prize of $50, but not much had been done. Several songs, including "A Health to Carolina," were written after this and other articles asked for an alma mater. All of these songs that were submitted were placed in a songbook and sung at chapel.

Although it was several years before the song written by Dr. Wauchope became known as the Alma Mater of the University, it was apparently the most popular one as soon as it came out.

Ever since Professor George A. Wauchope penned the words to Carolina's Alma Mater, its singing at athletic events has been one of the University's most revered traditions. Over the years the custom has arisen of raising the right hand, with fingers cupped, when the phrase "Here's A Health, Carolina" occurs, as if offering a toast. To many alumni, the "toast" is synonymous with events on the athletic field.

-- From Remembering the Days: An Illustrated History of the University of South Carolina (Institute of Southern Studies; R.L. Bryan Company, 1982).

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