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”). 
References[change | change source]
- Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2019). Definition of ALMA MATER. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alma+mater
- Golia, J. (2010). Alma Mater: Early History | Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://library.columbia.edu/libraries/cuarchives/resources/almaearly.html