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08 October, 2015

From Che[e]r-ishing to Join-ing: Amend the Georgia Tech School Song

At least one candidate for the presidency keeps talking about "che[e]rishing" women. And the current GT School Song, which dates back to the early twentieth century, reveals a similar attitude. I fully support changing the song as proposed below:

Georgia Tech aspires to the equal respect and inclusion of all members of its community. In particular, great strides have been made towards creating a welcoming environment for women, beginning with their admission as students in 1952. As part of this on-going effort, it is important to modernize the language that describes women’s roles in the Georgia Tech community. Nowhere is this more important than in our Institute’s traditions, which not only reflect our history, but are a daily reminder of our core values.
The Ramblin’ Wreck lyrics first appeared in print in 1908, at a time when women were not allowed to vote and could not attend Georgia Tech as students. The lyrics include the phrase:
“Oh! If I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold.
These lyrics do not reflect the significant achievements of women at Georgia Tech, who make up a growing fraction of students and faculty alike. 
We propose to sing one word differently in the Ramblin’ Wreck Lyrics: changing “cheer” to “join:”
“Oh! If I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus to join the brave and bold.” 
We ask the members of the Georgia Tech community to embrace this change, which reflects the Georgia Tech of the 21st Century. Members of the Georgia Tech Community, please register your support for this change below: This initiative has the support of the Deans of the College of Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Architecture, College of Computing, Scheller College of Business, and Ivan Allen College. For questions and comments, email jointhebraveandbold@gatech.edu.