The Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging is pleased to announce a longlist of 20 semifinalists in the competition to revise the final line of Harvard’s Alma Mater, "Fair Harvard." These text entries were selected out of a pool of 168 entries by a subcommittee of the Task Force, with input from the Task Force generally. There were no submissions of musical variants for the Alma Mater.

These 20 entries work within the constraints of the rhymes, rhythm, and sense of the existing Alma Mater lyrics to convey the accessibility and value of the pursuit of truth to people from all backgrounds and to affirm the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence.  The longlisted entries are:

Lyrics to Fair Harvard

Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these Festival-rites, from the Age that is past,
To the Age that is waiting before.
O Relic and Type of our ancestors’ worth,
That hast long kept their memory warm,
First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
Calm rising thro’ change and thro’ storm.

Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for Right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by;
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,


View the score to Fair Harvard here.

Longlisted Entries

  1. Brightly shining, ever glorified.
  2. Till the end of the ages draws nigh.
  3. O for this we forever will strive.
  4. Till the darkness of ignorance dies.
  5. Be our haven that never shall die.
  6. While the banners of Veritas fly.
  7. Lest the glory of Veritas die.
  8. For each creature of land, sea, or sky.
  9. As True North guides our way from on high.
  10. ‘Til the stars cease to brighten the sky.
  11. Till the stars in the firmament die.
  12. Veritas be Thy Destiny’s guide.
  13. Veritas be Thy Ancestor’s pride.
  14. Lest the hope of the Puritans die.
  15. And let Veritas--Truth--never die.
  16. Till the mind and compassion ally.
  17. Like the sun’s blessed light in the sky.
  18. Lest the hopes of our ancestors die.
  19. Setting wisdom and justice on high.
  20. Pressing steadfastly onward for aye.

    The University community is invited to comment on these entries from October 1 through 31, via the Solution Space.  Instructions for submitting comments are below:

    1. Visit https://solutionspace.harvard.edu/.
    2. Click on the "Submit a Solution" button.
    3. Log in with your HarvardKey.
    4. After completing the form, check the box for "Alma Mater Longlist Comments" and click the "Save" button at the bottom of the screen.
    5. You have now shared your comments with the Task Force and the Harvard community.

    The longlist along with community comments will be shared with a panel of distinguished community judges on November 1, 2017.  The panel will select select three finalists to forward to the University for selection of the the final winner, to be announced at the start of the spring semester.

    Longlist FAQs

    What were the criteria by which the top 20 were selected?

    The subcommittee selected every entry that was minimally viable with regard to rhyme, rhythm, and sense. Task Force members were then invited to vote on their top twenty from this set. The longlist resulted from this process.

    How did the subcommittee ensure that the longlist reflected a cross-section of the University?

    The Task Force represents all the schools of the University, all three core constituencies (students, staff, and academic personnel) and a wide array of backgrounds, identities, and viewpoints. The longlist resulted from a balloting process that was open to the entire Task Force.

    How will the feedback from the University community be taken into consideration?

    The feedback from the University community will be provided to the panel as a part of their review.  We also expect that the panel will bring their expertise as scholars and professionals in the fields of poetry, music, and performance to bear on their selection process.

    Who will make the final selection?

    The judges will return their selection of three finalists to the Task Force, which will make a recommendation and work with the Office of President and Provost to determine the final selection.