The CSU Fight Song turns 90 years old this Saturday, Nov. 19!
While the lyrics have changed slightly over time – mainly the modification of “stalwart Aggies” to “stalwart Ram Team” as the university’s mascot and name changed in the 1950s – the beloved rallying tune has been sung thousands of times across nine decades.
CSU music education major and marching band drum major, Kathryn Kennedy, is writing her University Honors Program thesis on the history of the CSU Marching Band. While combing library archives, Kennedy found that the fight song debuted at a game against Utah University on Nov. 19, 1932. The original tune and lyrics were penned by Richard F. Bourne, who was the band director (and veterinary medicine professor) at the time.
“The original lyrics were printed in the Collegian that week so that students could prepare to sing along,” Kennedy said.
The new song replaced “Come On Aggies,” which was sung to the tune of “On, Wisconsin.”
“Bourne’s ‘Aggie Fight Song’ meant that students at Colorado Agriculture College now had a fight song of their very own to sing,” she said.
Marching Band History Project
Kennedy has gathered information about the marching band from a century of archived Collegian articles, visiting the CSU Library and City of Fort Collins archives, reading Silver Spruce yearbooks, and sending a survey to more than 2,000 band alumni; her thesis project will be finished in December.
“As a member of the band, it means a lot to me to gain a better understanding of our history,” she said. “I have really enjoyed this project!”
Kennedy will present her honors thesis project at a public forum on Friday, Dec. 2 at 5:45 p.m. in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.