Potential Democratic Candidate for Governor Danielle Allen Supported Changing Lyrics To Harvard’s 181-Year-Old School Song

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/02/11/potential-democratic-candidate-for-governor-danielle-allen-supported-changing-lyrics-to-harvards-181-year-old-school-song/

“Fair Harvard” is the school song, or alma mater, for Harvard University, but it has undergone a couple of changes since it was first written in 1836. School officials changed the official version of the song for the second time in 2017 with the support of professor Danielle Allen, a Democrat who is exploring a run for governor in Massachusetts next year.

The last line of the song originally said “till the stock of the Puritans die,” — a reference to the English Calvinists who founded both the colony of Massachusetts Bay and Harvard College in the 1630s. However, in March 2018, the school’s task force report on diversity and inclusion announced that the school would change the official wording to “till the stars in the firmament die,” according to The Harvard Crimson.

Those words were chosen after a competition to come up with a replacement for “till the stock of the Puritans die.”

Allen, who co-chaired the school’s co-chair of Presidential Task Force for Inclusion and Belonging, made the announcement of the change to the lyrics, as The Harvard Crimson reports. Allen was among those who personally supported changing the lyrics to make them more inclusive.

“The Alma Mater is a living symbol used to welcome each incoming Harvard College class, and to celebrate the conclusion of each class’ journey at Commencement,” Allen told Campus Reform in 2017.

“The Taskforce on Inclusion and Belonging launched this competition to affirm that Harvard’s motto, Veritas, speaks to and on behalf of all members of our community, regardless of background, identity, religious affiliation, or viewpoint,” she added.

“Veritas” is the Latin word for “truth.”

She told The Boston Globe in a statement in 2018 that the change “beautifully connects respect for our ancestors in the first stanza to an affirmation that any and all can embrace Harvard’s enduring commitment to light and love, to truth and the good of humankind.”

It was the second time in recent decades that the school changed the lyrics to “Fair Harvard.” School officials made another change in 1998, as BBC points out.

The original opening line of the song was, “Fair Harvard! thy sons to thy jubilee throng.” However, the school changed it to be gender-neutral. It now says, “Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng.”

Allen could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday this week.