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Notre Dame tweaks fight song to include 'daughters'

The addition of "and daughters" was announced Thursday on the 50th anniversary of the university's decision to admit undergraduate women.
Credit: WTHR
University of Notre Dame.

SOUTH BEND, Ind — The University of Notre Dame has made a small change to its more-than-century-old fight song that it hopes will make a big impact in celebrating the many women who have helped shape the university over the last five decades.

Notre Dame fans, do not fear. The university isn't tweaking the tune of its historic "Notre Dame Victory March" fight song, but it is adding a few words.

The lyrics previously said, “While her loyal sons are marching onward to victory.” Now, they say, “While her loyal sons and daughters march on to victory.”

The addition of "and daughters" was announced Thursday on the 50th anniversary of when undergraduate women were first allowed to be admitted to Notre Dame. The anniversary coincides with the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities.

“On this occasion of the anniversary of the admission of undergraduate women in 1972, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of women as students and graduates," University President Rev. John Jenkins said while making the announcement. 

Jenkins also announced the university will redesign the Main Circle, the ceremonial entrance to campus, in the coming months. He said the redesign will honor the profound impact women have had on the university. 

"The re-imaging of the Main Circle will be a tribute at the heart of our campus to the ways in which these women have inspired, led and enriched us," Jenkins said.

The fight song was written in 1908 by Rev. Michael Shea and his brother John. The first public performance of the newly arranged song took place after Jenkins’ announcement at the gala dinner.

Going forward, “Notre Dame Victory March” will be sung as follows:

"Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame.

Wake up the echoes cheering her name.

Send a volley cheer on high.

Shake down the thunder from the sky.

What though the odds be great or small,

Old Notre Dame will win over all.

While her loyal sons and daughters

March on to victory."

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