Fighting on with all its might, CSU anthem turns 90

The CSU Fight Song turns 90 years old this Saturday, Nov. 19!

While the lyrics have changed slightly over time – mainly the modification of "stalwart Aggies" to "stalwart Ram Team" as the university's mascot and name changed in 1950s – the beloved rallying tune has been sung thousands of times across nine decades.

Richard F. Bourne headshot

Richard F. Bourne composed the fight song in 1932. (Photo CSU Library Archives)

CSU music education major and marching band drum major, Kathryn Kennedy, is writing her University Honors Program thesis on the history of the CSU Marching Band. While combing library archives, Kennedy found that the fight song debuted at a game against Utah University on Nov. 19, 1932. The original tune and lyrics were penned by Richard F. Bourne, who was the band director (and veterinary medicine professor) at the time.

"The original lyrics were printed in the Collegian that week so that students could prepare to sing along," Kennedy said.

The new song replaced "Come On Aggies," which was sung to the tune of "On, Wisconsin."

"Bourne’s 'Aggie Fight Song' meant that students at Colorado Agriculture College now had a fight song of their very own to sing," she said.

1933 Band
1933 ROTC Marching Band on the steps of the Administration Building. Dr. Bourne is pictured in the front to the left of the drum. (Photo: CSU Library Archives)

1932 Original Lyrics

Fight song in the Collegian

Notice about the new fight song in The Rocky Mountain Collegian on Nov. 16, 1932. (Photo: CSU Library Archives)

Marching Band History Project

drum major

Kathryn Kennedy, CSU Marching Band Drum Major, 2021-2022. (Photo: Jennifer Clary)

Kennedy has gathered information about the marching band from a century of archived Collegian articles, visiting CSU Library and City of Fort Collins archives, reading Silver Spruce yearbooks, and sending a survey to more than 2,000 band alumni; her thesis project will be finished in Dec.

"As a member of the band, it means a lot to me to gain a better understanding of our history. I have really enjoyed this project," she said!

Kathryn Kennedy will present her honors thesis project at a public forum on Friday, Dec. 2 at 5:45 p.m. in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington Street.