Sister Act
Dr. Aaron Conley
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Sisters Sherine (left) and Sani (right) Mathew visit with Dr. Aaron Conley, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
As a newcomer to UT Dallas, I'm always intrigued by the University's traditions. I recently learned how our alma mater was crafted and that two sisters—an alumna and a current student—have been belting it out since it was first penned six years ago.

Sani Mathew was a junior in neuroscience when she was tapped to serve on an alma mater, or school anthem creation committee, comprised of students, staff and faculty. They started with a tune from Robert X. Rodriguez, who holds the endowed chair of University Professor of Music in the School of Arts and Humanities. Sitting in a room on campus, "I just remember being told to throw out ideas," she recalled.

Armed with lyrics and music, the group then needed a singer. In the days leading up to her first performance, Sani would practice every day at five in the morning. "I practiced enough so that my entire family had it memorized. Even before the whole school knew the song, my family knew it." Younger sister Sherine was less than impressed with the early morning wake-up. "Sherine was in junior high and she is not a morning person," said Sani.

Now Sherine is pursuing a double major in biology and business at UT Dallas, and continuing the family traditions in more ways than one. "I have been singing at all the fall and spring commencement ceremonies since my freshman year, and I really hope I get to continue. When I listen to the words, I feel like it captures the vision of UT Dallas," Sherine said. Her big sister, now a student at UT Southwestern Medical School, couldn't agree more.

The UT Dallas Alma Mater:
UT Dallas orange and green
Founders' visionary dream
To inflame the scholar's heart
Lighting pathways through the dark
Reaching out from earth to space
Serving all the human race
Joined as one in unity
Alma Mater UTD
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