April 29, 2014

UMW Unveils First-Ever Fight Song

 

The University of Mary Washington unveiled its first-ever fight song at Devil-Goat Day and at the athletics banquet. The lyrics, chosen in an anonymous contest, reflect a fighting spirit and honors the history of the school.

"We're very excited to add our new fight song to the Eagle Nation family", said UMW Director of Athletics Ken Tyler. "It will serve as a great way to connect our proud legacy with our exciting future.  Congratulations to everyone involved in making the fight song a reality and we can't wait to hear it after Eagle victories for years to come!"

Phillip Pierce and Jim Ford, pep band director rehatched the idea, which had been discussed in prior years. Ford and Kevin Bartram, Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra, organized the fight song committee: Dean Rucker, Dr. Bartram, Jim Ford, Joe Mollo, Ken Tyler and Pierce. The group hired a professional composer to write the music - Paul Murtha. 

The committee, with the help of the Cheerleading and Dance Team captains and student leader Katie Sue Van Valkenburg developed the "tag line" or main chorus of the song: "Soar Eagle Nation Soar". 

 Murtha then wrote the music and the school launched the contest early March.

The committee reviewed each entry objectively, with no knowledge of the writers' names, and there were some very good submissions. After much deliberation, the committee felt there was one clear winning lyric, but another submission was so captivating we decided a second place prize was necessary. Sophomore Ronald May received $200 because a portion of his second verse was edited into the final song.

Our first place writer was not only able to capture the essence of the UMW student body: pride, honor and loyalty, but also reached back into the vault and paid tribute to our history and the land on which our campus was built: Marye's Heights.
 

UMW '05 alum, current faculty member and women's soccer head coach Corey Hewson was awarded an iPad and $250.

The song was debuted at Devil Goat Day where hundreds of Eagles, led by a cappella group One Note Stand, sang the anthem for the first time. Later in the evening, at the Athletics Award Banquet, President Hurley, Dr. Searcy, our coaching staffs, and 450+ student athletes treated the Anderson Center to the first of many fight song renditions.

"In ten years, it won't matter that it was written in 2014", said Pierce. "The 2024 class will hear it and think tradition, school spirit, and Eagle Pride. The words are timeless because the story speaks to the same virtues that have shaped our school since 1908 - pride, honor, and loyalty."