Prince George’s college leaders hope to unite community through song -- Gazette.Net


Prince George’s Community College leaders hope a community effort will have students, faculty and alumni singing the school’s praises.

The leadership council at the Largo school is completing work on a school song, “Victorious,” that would be sung at campus events such as commencement and athletic games.

Tracy Johnson, an adjunct English professor at the school, beat out 11 other submissions for a school-wide contest, which began in April 2012, to craft the lyrics for the school song. Johnson was selected based on criteria including originality and school spirit, said Kalika White, a grants accountant at the school and song selection committee member.

Johnson’s song was selected by 104 out of 228 responses from alumni, employee and students, White said.

School officials are now working to find someone at the school to put the lyrics to music so that the song can be used at campus events, White said.

White said she learned the college, which bills itself as a center for cyber security and health training, has never had a school song since being formed in 1958 at Suitland High School.

“I didn’t see why we could have a song that would band the students, faculty and alumni together,” said White of Upper Marlboro. “We can sing our fight song to get everyone ready and rolling to graduate.”

Johnson said she has heard students lack pride in the school, but hopes her song will help instill a sense of community at the school, which has 40,000 part and full-time students.

“I’ve heard students say it’s just an extension of a high school,” said Johnson of Upper Marlboro. “I believe in community colleges. They serve a population that might not be able to afford to go to a four-year college or who aren’t yet sure what they want to do at four-year college.”

Ryan Spears, a criminal justice major studying to become a police officer, will need convincing as he said he didn’t have any interest in the school community.

“I’m here for the education,” said the 24-year-old from Oxon Hill. “I’m too old to be doing this extra stuff [on campus events]... For me it would be an inconvenience.”

A school song could help pull together the school community, said Courtney Bunch of Temple Hills.

“I think it’s good. Every school should have its own little tune,” said the 21-year-old pre-pharmacy major.

The school is looking at having the song ready by May, White said. The college is considering ways to publicize the song such as putting up signs, posting it on the back of handouts during school events as well as integrating it into some of the early required classes that students take on their path to a degree, White said.

“Hopefully, we can have something by time of commencement,” she said.