We asked and you responded! - DeWitt Alma Mater

by Charlotte Purdy

“Hail DeWitt, our Alma Mater

Voices sound in praises of thee;

Honor, courage, truth and glory

Be thine to eternity.

Hearts are lifted high in gladness;

Blue-gold banners fill the sky,

We love thee, Alma Mater,

Even till the day we die.”

After receiving many responses, and hearing many stories regarding the author of the Alma Mater, we have a consensus.

Randolf Cannon. A WWII Marine who graduated from Hendrix College and later taught Band at DeWitt High School. The man behind the question. The author of the Alma Mater.

Prior to 1952, there was no mention of the Alma Mater in any graduation programs, yearly annuals, or printed form, but once Cannon began working at DeWitt High, he soon created the notorious Alma Mater that is recited throughout the school year by students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Some thought Ethel Oates was the author. Others had other names of the person they felt was responsible, but in the end, and after hours of speaking with community members, we can verify at this time that Randolf Cannon is the author.

We thank you, Mr. Cannon, for our school’s Alma Mater and we will continue to shout it for many years to come! Thank you to everyone who gave their input into this often-asked question!