- Alma mater
Alma mater (Latin: "nourishing mother"), pronounced UK: /ˈælmə ˈmeɪtər/, US: /ˈɑːlmə ˈmɑːtər/), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.
In modern times, it is often any school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated. The term may also refer to a song or hymn associated with a school.
The expression is almost always used in the singular form, but the Latin plural is almae matres.
Alma Mater Studiorum ("Nourishing Mother of Studies") is the motto and original name of the University of Bologna, the oldest continually operating university in the world, and other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, have also used the expression in their names.
On the campus of Columbia University on the steps of Low Library there is a well known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has an Alma Mater statue by Lorado Taft. A mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library depicts alma mater as a bearer of light and truth standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage. Outside the United States there is another sculpture of Alma Mater 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, and installed in its current scenic location in 1927 under the direction of architect Raul Otero.
In popular music
"Alma mater" is also used as a song title outside academia.
- "Alma Mater" is a song performed by the Portuguese gothic metal and black metal band Moonspell, from the album Wolfheart in 1995.
- In Chuck Berry's 1972 number one hit "My Ding-A-Ling", a live recording, Berry can be heard saying to the audience, "We must do our Alma Mater." He then gets the females and males in the audience to sing alternate parts of the chorus.
- Morrissey released a song called "Alma Matters" on his Maladjusted album.
- "Alma Mater" is a song performed by Alice Cooper on his School's Out album in 1972.
- One of the musical numbers in the ill-fated Carrie: The Musical is entitled "Alma Mater" with lyrics by Dean Pitchford.
- Alma Mater is the name of an album released in 2000 by Rodrigo Leão. The album's title track includes the participation of Adriana Calcanhotto.
- Underdog Alma Mater is the name of the first album by the Texan band, Forever the Sickest Kids.
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