Richard Tilman Vann, Meredith’s second president, wrote the words to our “Alma Mater” in 1904 and the next year a violin professor at the College set them to music. However, in 1907, Dr. Vann himself wrote the music that has been used since that time. Generations of Meredith freshmen were required to memorize the song—yes, all five verses—as part of orientation.
In A History of Meredith College, Dr. Mary Lynch Johnson writes that by using the emphatic shall in the third verse, Dr. Vann issued “a stern imperative to the daughters of Meredith …”
“In thy path the fields shall blossom and the desert shall rejoice
In the wilderness a living fountain spring
For the blind shall see thy beauty, and the deaf shall hear thy voice
And the silent tongue their high hosannas sing.”