The St. Ambrose campus was established in a grove of oak trees, of which many still grow all over campus. When members of the alumni association wanted a hymn of praise to St. Ambrose College, the music department chose the melody "Finlandia," by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. They held a campus contest to write lyrics, and in May 1937 William Kerrigan, a senior from Davenport, was declared the winner.
The rendition of the alma mater below is arranged and performed by William Campbell, PhD, Professor of Music at St. Ambrose University.
LISTEN TO AMBROSIAN OAKS (mp3)
Ambrosian oaks what might deeds you know!
Our hears fair shrine, ah still more fair you grow.
What white and blue have taught we shall recall
our whole lives through, whatever may befall.
When Mississippi's waters cease to flow
your hearth of glory in our hearts shall glow.
Lyrics: Fr. William Kerrigan (1937)
Alt. Lines: P. Romza and R.S. Cohen (1997)
Tune: "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius