October 18, 2021

Rediscovering Schoolcraft College’s Hymn

The words "The Schoolcraft College hymn" with music notes in the background

The hymn includes the College motto: Semper Altius Aspice (“Look Ever Upward”)

Did you know Schoolcraft College has its own Hymn? Composed by Wayne Dunlap with lyrics by Ralph Kelley, it was first performed on April 25, 1965, at the campus dedication Service by the College Choir.

Headshots of Wayne Dunlap and Ralph Kelley
The Schoolcraft College Hymn was composed by Wayne Dunlap (left) with lyrics by Ralph Kelley

The words are:

All Hail to thee, Oh Gold and Blue;
We lift our voices in praise of thee.
Semper altius aspice. 
May knowledge, hope and vision here begin.

Semper Altius Aspice is the College motto and means “Look Ever Upward.”

In the spring of 1964, Dunlap had been hired by Schoolcraft College. The following passage is from “Reaching Out … A History of Schoolcraft College” by Samuel Hudson.

Wayne Dunlap, well-known director of music in the Plymouth-Canton school system, was appointed to head the college’s music department. A graduate of Texas Christian University, and holder of a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, Dunlap was then conductor of the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra, and had served as conductor of the Grosse Pointe Symphony, the West Shore Symphony, and the South Oakland Symphony orchestras.

Dr. Frederick Moss playing guitar
Dr. Frederick Moss, Department Representative for Music, performs the Schoolcraft College Hymn

Dunlap served Schoolcraft College until 1971, when he resigned as Director of Fine Arts. He was conductor of the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Michigan Philharmonic, from 1951-1979 – the longest run in that group’s history.

The Schoolcraft College Hymn also was performed at the 50th Gala in 2001. 

Dr. Frederick Moss, Department Representative for Music, graciously lent his time and talent to the following performance of the Schoolcraft College Hymn, which can be viewed here.

If you have any information regarding the Schoolcraft College Hymn, please send an email to [email protected]

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