Music professor A. Neil Annas wrote the classics which served for Northern Illinois University's first half century-"Castle on the Hill," "Alma Mater," and "Loyalty Song"-according to NIU archivist Glen A. Gildemeister.
The current "Huskie Fight Song" dates back to the 1961-62 academic year and an editorial appeal from The Northern Star asking for a snappier tune for students, fans, and alums at athletics events.
Former Northern Illinois men's swimming coach and physical education professor Francis Stroup answered the call with new lyrics and a modest rewrite of the chorus of Annas' "Loyalty Song."
While The Northern Star first published Stroup's lyrics to the "Huskie Fight Song" on November 17, 1961, and it was sung at pep rallies and basketball games, it was not formally approved by the Student Senate until April 30, 1963. Stroup was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
The updated version of the "Alma Mater" - written by former NIU band director Wilbur Smith and English professor Orville Baker-originated in 1957 and made its debut at a campus Pops Concert in January, 1961. Smith authored the music and most of the lyrics-with some help by Baker.
HUSKIE FIGHT SONG
Huskies, you're Northern Huskies
Forward, together forward
Come on you Huskies, Fight on you
Lyrics by Francis Stroup
HAIL N.I.U - ALMA MATER
Lyrics by Wilbur Smith / Orville Baker