Latin for “Our Mother,” term that graduates traditionally use for their college or university. Because Latin was the original language of study in most Western European universities, many traditional college terms are in Latin.
Alma Mater is the name given to a sculpture of the goddess Minerva by Daniel Chester French on the outdoor steps leading to Low Memorial Library on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. French also sculpted the statue of John Harvard that sits in Harvard Yard. Installed in 1904, Alma Mater has become a symbol of the university and a repository of its lore.