“Alma mater” also refers to a school’s song, often sung at commencement, as the newest class is “graduated,” or entered into the ranks of the university.
To make it a little easier for our Athena Mentor students to part from Columbia, I’ll tell you a joke.
When Columbia’s school song is played, half the Upper West Side rises for the alma mater. The other half rises for the national anthem.
Why is this funny? Watch the video below, of the commencement ceremony of Columbia University.
When considering colleges, find out what really matters at that school. For example, Columbia is devoted to its Core Curriculum. As the web page on the Core Curriculum explains: “The communal learning–with all students encountering the same texts and issues at the same time–and the critical dialogue experienced in small seminars are the distinctive features of the Core.”
If you don’t want to spend one third of your college career taking the same fundamental liberal arts courses as everyone else at Columbia, choose another college!
And if you do want to have an automatic topic of conversation with any hot girl or guy you spot at the 116th Street subway station, be sure to tell the admissions committee that you can’t wait to get your hands on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics!
Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO
P.S. The joke is that Columbia University’s alma mater is set to the same Haydn melody that serves as the national anthem of Germany.