Once again, the intrepid Source from ScarletNation.com reminds us of a bit of history about Rutgers. This time, he comments about the alma mater, On The Banks of the Old Raritan.
On December 11, 1873 a Glee Club member, Edward E. Colburn, went to the home of student Howard N. Fuller, Class of 1874, living at 41 Schureman Street in New Brunswick about 3:00 pm and requested a song for an exhibition in Flatbush that evening. It took Fuller two hours to write the seven stanza lyrics set to the music of “On the Banks of the Old Dundee.” It was later published in the 1875 February Targum. John Opier ’74, the college organist, scored the song for publication afterwards. Forty years later Howard Fuller revised his original lyrics to make the Rutgers alma mater more relevant to its status.
Fuller reminisced, “… in those days Rutgers had a name as a singing college and “On the Banks…” was held by impartial judges to be the best song that any college or university, east or west, possessed. ‘On the Banks…’ has all its power to put new life into the muscles that fight for Rutgers on the gridiron and to grip with divine emotion the hearts that are living for Rutgers in the world.”
Happy 139th birthday Rutgers alma mater! And many more to come.