The official alma mater of the University of West Florida was composed by Dr. Lynne A. Lauderdale and Dr. Algirt M. (Mike) Yots in 1989.
During the summer of 1989, Loren Bahnick, a senior majoring in Accounting and Chairman of the President’s Leadership Council, encouraged Dr. Lynne A. Lauderdale of the Department of Music and Dr. Algirt M. (Mike) Yots of the Department of English to compose an alma mater for the University, there being no musical emblem of the University.
A group of University officials and students heard the proposed Alma Mater on July 25, 1989, and generally approved the composition. The proposed alma mater was heard by the President’s Leadership Council on Aug. 30, 1989, and on Sept. 6, 1989, that body formally proposed to the President that the Lauderdale-Yots song be adopted as the official alma mater. The piece was first performed publicly during the Second Anniversary Performance of RadioLive over WUWF-FM on Sept. 7, 1989, by the University of West Florida Singers.
Where learning’s light sends forth its beam
Through darkness of our youth,
There you, West Florida, home of dreams
Prepare the way of truth.
You guide us toward tomorrow’s shore
With knowledge of our past;
Your power in us rests secure,
And evermore will last.
Your stately mansions were our home
Where minds and hearts are free
And though we may far from you roam,
We’ll always honor thee.
Composer: Lynn Lauderdale, D.M.A.
Lyricist: A. Michael Yots, Ph.D.