Facebook Pixel University Traditions | Western Kentucky University

WKU University Traditions


The Spirit of WKU

One might describe the “Spirit of WKU” as more than just school spirit. Alumni, students, faculty and staff may describe it as an almost tangible feeling - a deep love and passionate pride for the rich history and tradition of Western Kentucky University, our campus, facilities and community.

Many prospective students have noticed this feeling upon their first visit to our beautiful hilltop home. Many have stated the Spirit was the defining factor in choosing WKU as their collegiate home. From athletics to administration and everywhere in between, the Spirit of WKU thrives in the hearts of all who have been fortunate enough to experience it firsthand.

We invite you to visit the WKU campus to see if the Spirit lives within you as well!


The Alma Mater

WKU’s alma mater, "College Heights," was originally written by 16-year old schoolgirl Mary Frances Bradley as a poem to be entered in a contest on the campus in 1924.

Miss Bradley combined her poignant words with a beautiful melody composed by her father, Ben J. Bradley, an accomplished songwriter and musician from nearby Franklin, KY.

On March 12, 1925, "College Heights" was first performed at chapel assembly in Van Meter Auditorium by Miss Bradley and, thus an alma mater was born.

The music was subsequently published and then copyrighted by WKU in 1930. On the music is the notation that the song is dedicated to WKU's first president, Dr. Henry Hardin Cherry.


"College Heights"

College Heights, on hilltop fair,

With beauty all thine own,

Lovely jewel far more rare

Than graces any throne!

College Heights, we hail thee;

We shall never fail thee

Falter never, live forever,

Hail! Hail! Hail!

College Heights with living soul

And purpose strong and true,

Service ever is thy goal

Thy spirit ever new.

College Heights, we hail thee;

We shall never fail thee

Falter never, live forever,

Hail! Hail! Hail!

College Heights thy noble life,

Shall e'er our pattern be,

Teaching us through joy and strife

To love humanity.

College Heights we hail thee,

We shall never fail thee,

Falter never, live forever,

Hail! Hail! Hail!


The Western Creed

Western Kentucky University is a community dedicated to learning where ideas are offered, examined, and discussed.

As a member of this community, I have both a personal and shared 
responsibility to participate actively in university life by:

Practicing personal and academic integrity

Seeking unity by respecting the dignity of all persons

Celebrating and embracing diversity

Encouraging freedom of expression

Acting in accordance with basic principles of citizenship

Preserving and appreciating the natural beauty of the campus

Enriching all aspects of life through the educational process and by

Embracing the ideals expressed on the university seal:
"Life More Life" and "The Spirit Makes the Master",
 by pursuing personal growth and a life of excellence.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 2/19/18