Glenville State University Alma Mater
Alma Mater, loving mother,
Bride of honor and of truth,
We revere thee as no other,
Moulder of ideals of youth.
Friendships born within thy portal,
Bless our lives as seasons roll,
So transcending what is mortal,
Touching each and ev’ry soul.
Glenville College we will love thee,
All thro’ life and e’vn in death,
Love and treasure, sing thy praises,
With the last of quick’ning breath.
Words and music written by Fred H. Barnett in 1937
About Mr. Barnett
The Glenville Mercury, January 25, 1980
By Yvonne (Hart) King
Glenville College we will love thee, All thro’ life and e’vn in death,
Love and treasure, sing thy praises, With the last of quick’ning breath.
These words, penned in 1937 by Fred H. Barnett, in part depict his avid love for Glenville State College. Composer of the GSC Alma Mater, Mr. Barnett, retired attorney, died on January 1, 1980 in the Camden Clark Hospital in Parkersburg.
A native Gilmer Countian, the former Alumni of the Year, Alumni president, Parade Marshall, Advisory Board member, and most loyal Glenville State College fan, Mr. Barnett, (Fred, as all his friends referred to him), was apparent at all Alumni Days, all Homecomings, all special occasions at the Alma Mater he loved so dearly. He began attending school here at the age of five, in a training school. He was graduated from Glenville Normal School in 1926 and from Glenville State College with a Board of Regents Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. His family was rooted in Glenville - his father was county clerk, his mother taught at Glenville Normal, his sisters and brothers all attended here.
In a personal note to this writer, Fred comments on that day in 1937 when he penned the words on a B&O train en route from Clarksburg to Parkersburg. There was a big flood, according to Fred, and roads were flooded; therefore, he rode the train. He ‘wrote the words on a daily expense sheet (small book) and changed only one word in the final draft. The music was composed within the next two days.’ He accredited his writing the Alma Mater to the fact that he ‘felt the school was unique so it should have an original Alma Mater (not a copy of something else).’ He regarded the institution as a center of intellectual and social grace with almost a family-like relationship in which everyone knew everyone else.
What can be said about one whose entire life and loyalty centered around this institution of learning? Words cannot immortalize a person, but Fred Barnett, with his ready smile, quick wit, impressive words and undying loyalty, is immortal to all who proudly sing or play his Alma Mater. No longer will he be seen playing the tune on the piano, as he insisted on doing at Alumni Day activities, but his words will be repeated over and over - and for a while, we will remember. Even in his death, there is a hint of devotion to Glenville State College as his wife requested that flowers be omitted, but memorial tributes be made for a scholarship to Glenville State College. He is, fittingly, laid to rest in Otterbein Cemetery, near Glenville.
A true friend of Glenville State College has gone. The world is a better place for his having lived; Glenville State College is better for his having loved; and we, his bereaved friends, are better for his having lived and loved. Truly, in the words of Frank Munsey, Epitaph writer: ‘Here lies a man.’