New lyric in Rutgers’ alma mater poses question for marketers

The centuries-old university revises the song, the latest chapter in a trend toward gender neutrality. Is there a point where a line should be drawn?

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Since 1766, fathers and (presumably) mothers have been sending their kids to New Brunswick, N.J., to attend Rutgers University. Since 1873, students and faculty have heard or sung “On the Banks of the Old Raritan,” the school’s alma mater:

As you can hear in the video above, the song starts with the lyric:

My father sent me to old Rutgers
And resolved that I should be a man.

After what choral director Patrick Gardner told The Home News Tribune was “20 years of intense wave of people upset with the old lyrics,” the school now plans to change the lyric to be gender neutral. The new lyric:

From far and near we came to Rutgers
And resolved to learn all that we can.

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