In recognition of the 80th anniversary of his composing the Saint Ignatius Alma Mater, first performed on October 1, 1937, and now cherished by generations of Ignatians, Saint Ignatius High School proudly confers an Honorary Diploma upon Jack T. Hearns, Sr.
Hearns will now be honored as a member of the Class of 2018. His family was in attendance at the Feast Day Mass for St. Ignatius of Loyola to receive his honorary diploma.
During the 1930s, Hearns served as band director for a number of schools including Holy Name. Hearns wrote the music and lyrics and had members of the marching band play the song to see how it sounded. The lyrics were first penned as “Ignatius men forevermore.” That line did not flow smoothly and was soon changed to “Ignatius men forever,” a timeless and memorable expression.
Jack Hearns, Jr. ’57, son of the composer and former Saint Ignatius band director, notes that he could sing the Alma Mater by age 4. To him, the song’s words are as relevant today as ever.