The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Alma mater: Shaping student experiences

CCU looks to reconnect community with tradition

An alma mater describes the anthem of a University and is unique to each institution.  


Coastal Carolina University’s alma mater was written in celebration of its first year as an established University. It was written in 1994 by Benny Lee Sinclair and the original score by William R. Hamilton, a past CCU music professor.  


The alma mater describes a student’s journey from the time they begin at Coastal Carolina to the time they graduate.  


David Russell, former director of video and production services, graduated from Coastal in 1998. As an alumni and past employee, Russell was able to look at the alma mater from a different perspective.  


Russell presented to the University Marketing and Communication group that the alma mater can be interpreted as a letter from a student to Coastal Carolina, describing what they are looking for in their college experience.  


“Replace the ‘we’ with ‘I,’ it’s a way they’ve never thought of it before,” Russell said. 


The University’s fight song, “Coastal is Number One,” is another tradition celebrated in competition during game days, which most students are more familiar with in comparison to the alma mater. Russell said the alma mater has become a lost tradition.  


Rusell’s interpretation can help students connect with the alma mater.  


The Student Government Association has approved two changes to the alma mater; the line “green and bronze” will change to “teal and bronze” and the line “form our dreams for better years” will change to “form our dreams for future years.” These changes are to make the alma mater more representative of the school colors and describe that time at Coastal is part of one’s better years. 


The University has requested permission from Sinclair’s family to make changes to these lines and if approved, the changes will be made by next fall.  


Chief of Staff Travis Overton hopes that more students become familiar with their alma mater to help them feel more connected to their University. 


“Making the best of your experience while in college is finding your connection to the place that you are,” Overton said.  


University Marketing and Communication is working to create visuals of the alma mater around campus to help more students become familiar with its message. Currently, the alma mater is sung at every graduation ceremony by students and is printed on the back of the graduation program. 


The Teal and Bronze Society, which works under University Belonging and Student Affairs, is one group which works to maintain campus traditions like this one. The group hosts events such as Teal Tuesday, Homecoming, athletic event pop-ups and campus events to engage the campus community.  


As a young institution, Coastal has the opportunity to develop more traditions as it grows.  


“We hope that a lot of alumni remember those traditions and when they come back for homecoming, or when they’re talking to potential students or if they’re visiting here and they interact with current students, that they are able to continue to participate in those traditions,” Overton said. 


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