Board of Trustees approves update to Alma Mater
Hello Wolfpack community,
Today, the NC State Board of Trustees approved removing the word “Dixie” from the NC State Alma Mater and adding the word “Southern.” With this change, the first line of the song will now begin: “Where the Southern winds so softly blow,” making a clear geographical reference. This change is effective immediately.
The lyrics and accompanying music of NC State’s Alma Mater were originally penned in the 1920s, and the word “Dixie” has been part of the song since 1925. The university and the larger society have changed substantially in the last 100 years. A growing number of students, faculty, staff and alumni have expressed concerns about the word “Dixie” in our Alma Mater and see it as contrary to NC State’s vision, values and goals.
In response to concerns, last year the Alumni Association Board of Directors formed an executive task force to review the Alma Mater. The task force ultimately presented options for moving forward, one of which was removing “Dixie” and replacing it with a geographical reference. The chair of NC State’s Board of Trustees, Stan Kelly, and I brought this issue to the full Board of Trustees and recommended the change be made. Board members unanimously supported this recommendation.
Traditions remain an important part of NC State. Those traditions must reflect who we are today and what we hope to achieve. As an institution of higher learning founded on a land-grant mission, we have a responsibility to continually educate ourselves and those who pass through our doors to unite against intolerance, model inclusivity, and advance the dignity and power of diversity.
Making this change is simply the right thing to do.
I’m proud to lead an institution that strives to meet the needs of all in our community, and I want to thank our Board of Trustees for taking this action.