Lingua Mater

The Lingua Mater competition invites students and alumni to translate Cornell's Alma Mater into a different language and submit a video of the performed translation. The inaugural Lingua Mater competition took place in 2018 as part of Cornell's Global Grand Challenges Symposium. The top three student videos (Armenian, Chinese, and Hindi) received cash prizes. In the alumni category, the Cornell Club of Thailand won support of a local alumni event. Watch all previous years' winners below.

2024 competition details

Can you translate Cornell’s Alma Mater into your mother tongue (or a language you are learning/have learned at Cornell) and sing it? We invite you to translate “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters” and submit a video of you (and your friends!) performing it somewhere on any of Cornell’s campuses or anywhere in the world. Are you on an education abroad program right now? Show us your Cornell love from afar.

Translations do not need to be exact or perfectly in meter but should capture the feel and tune of our university’s Alma Mater. As is customary, include the first verse, refrain, second verse, and refrain in your video submission (for guidance, listen to a performance and read the lyrics). 

Video submissions need to be MP4 files at 1920 x 1080 (1080p), in landscape mode with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Please ensure that you have copyright permission for any images/videos you use.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Submissions will be judged equally on the translation, the musical quality, and the creativity in visual presentation. 

The top three entries in the student category will win cash prizes: $300 for first prize; $200 for second prize; $100 for third prize. The winning alumni entry will receive financial support and Cornell swag for a local alumni event.

Submission deadline: Wednesday, October 30, 2024


Winners will be announced during International Education Week (November 18-22, 2024) and the winning videos in both categories will be posted online that week.

Student entries may be submitted by any registered Cornell student or group of students.
Alumni entries may be submitted by any Cornell alumni groups outside of the United States and Canada.

Please contact Angelika Kraemer, Director of the Language Resource Center, if you have any questions.

The Lingua Mater competition is co-sponsored by the Language Resource Center, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, and the Office of International Alumni Relations.

Winner Archive

    Students   Alumni
  1. Japanese (Sara Goto)
  2. Vietnamese (Cornell Vietnamese Association)
  3. French (Mack Dishmon & French 2095 students)
  1. Mandarin (Cornell REAL A Cappella) 
  2. Cantonese (Jade Lo)
  3. Quechua (Janeth Arias)
  1. Burmese (Kaythari Maw and friends)
  2. French (Hannah Sheehan and friends)
  3. Indonesian (Priscilla Natawidjaja)
  1. Turkish (Rebecca Taylor)
  2. Japanese (Angel Ding and Sophie Matsumoto)
  3. Quechua (Contigo Perú)
  1. Korean (KOREA 4401)
  2. Igbo (Amarachi Emeziem)
  3. Spanish (Cornell University Chorale)
  Cornell Club of Gaeta, Italy
  1. Armenian Student Organization
  2. Chinese (Rachel Zhang and friends)
  3. Hindi (Cornell Tarana)
  Cornell Club of Thailand