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Alma mater facts for kids

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Alma mater is the singular form of the Latin word for "nourishing mother". It was used in ancient Rome as a title for the mother goddess, and in Medieval Christianity for the Virgin Mary. In current days, it is most often used to refer to the university or college a person went to. However, it may also refer to the song or hymn of a college or university.

The term alma mater can be traced back to eleventh-century Europe. The first known use of the term in reference to university was in 1088. The University of Bologna coined their motto “Alma Mater Studiorum,” (translated: “nourishing mother of studies”).

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