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Harvard graduation ceremony festivities; Photo: Harvard.edu


Harvard is holding a competition to change the lyrics to their 181-year old alma mater, “Fair Harvard,” to be more inclusive to the student body of their university.

Beginning its history as a college for what was predominantly a puritan crowd (the United States was founded in part by these religious conservatives who fled to America to avoid prosecution in England and elsewhere), Harvard University now wants to spread the message of being inclusive to people of all different backgrounds.

To advance their goal of being more inclusive to all, the Harvard Presidential Task Force of Inclusion and Belonging is holding a competition to change the puritanical line, “Till the stock of the Puritans die,” that concludes the song, into something that is more relevant today.

The task force is also launching a second competition to update the musical backing of the alma mater and update it from its 1836 setting. Inspired by the musical Hamilton, the competition hopes to set the lyrics to an edgier genre of music such as rap or hip-hop.

The competition is open to all affiliates of Harvard University, although many of the students are reported as not being aware of the ongoing competition.

Will this competition lead to a cutting edge variant of a historical alma mater? Alumnus Rivers Cuomo is at the bizarro top of his lyric game these days, does he count as an ‘affiliate’?

Only time will tell, until then listen to the traditional version below and groan along with the Harvard student body who are forced to listen to it.