Mendoza commencement features its own special song

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The 2019 undergraduate graduating class of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business will celebrate commencement with special memories, maybe a hug from a faculty member — and their own music video.

As part of the ceremony, the College will show a video collection of campus memories set to the music of a song written by a fellow student especially for the May 19 occasion.

Nich Lampson, a junior majoring in business analytics and industrial design, wrote “How Gold is She?” —a reference to the figure of Mary atop the University’s famed Golden Dome — to remind students of the Notre Dame’s holistic, faith-centered educational experience and legacy even as they prepare to graduate and chase all their “high-held dreams in life.”

The video presents a collage of images of some of the students’ favorite campus scenes, interspersed with portrait shots of seniors and faculty members. The song is performed by Lampson and fellow student musicians Sean McMahon, a senior IT management major, and Josh Morgenlander, a junior majoring in pre-professional studies in the College of Arts and Letters.

Lampson also is a co-founder of Streetlight Creations, a company that allows customers to order personalized songs from a team of talented musicians that can be given as gifts to others. “How Gold is She?” is available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon Music, along with most other streaming services.

“How Gold is She?”
Taking a step out of the lines
Making good on a promise tonight
Flight’s gonna take off fine but will I
Be at home in the morning?

Knew this was coming for quite some time
And I’m making some plans for the peace of mind
Piece of my heart, has broken off fine
And I’ll give it to you as you give me thine

How gold is She?
How gold are we?
Our goal is to believe
How gold is She?
How gold are we?
Our goal is to believe

It’ll be alright
We’ll be thinking ‘bout you in the car going home tonight
It’ll be alright
As you go round chasing all your high-held dreams in life

It’ll be alright
We’ll be looking for you on the bus toward paradise
It’ll be alright
The door’s always open and we’ll keep on hoping you shine

How gold is She?
How gold are we?
Our goal is to believe
How gold is She?
How gold are we?
Our goal is to believe

In Nich’s Words:

Verses 1 and 2 are meant to relate to what the seniors may be feeling during this time. For the first time in many of their lives, they will be “taking a step out of the lines” of the education systems that they have known for their entire lives. They’ll be making good on promises that they have made for job offers, service or even higher education. As they transition to adulthood, they will again undoubtedly go through feelings of homesickness and fear in their new endeavours. It will take some time to feel at home in the new place they will be living.

The last two lines of the second verse, along with the pre-chorus, are nods toward Our Lady. Speaking more on the spiritual side of things, a piece of each student will always be here at Notre Dame, because as each student comes and goes, they each leave their mark in their own unique way. There also is an allusion to the tradition of each student getting a small piece of gold off of the dome on their diploma. “Thine” may seem like a unique word to use here, but it is also a reference to the alma mater “Golden is thy fame.”

Asking one’s self “How Gold are We?” is not only recognizing the impact Notre Dame’s holistic education has had on us all, but also our ultimate goal of living through faith in others, ourselves, and most importantly, the moral and faithful principles we have cultivated in our time here.

The chorus paints small pictures of scenes (going home, a reference toward heaven, living out one’s vocation and ending with an invitation back to ND) from life onward past the graduation ceremony. It aims to reassure that Notre Dame is not over once you leave it. It is a place to which you can always return.

Originally published by Carol Elliott at conductorshare.nd.edu on May 17, 2019.