University of Maryland Eastern Shore The 125th Anniversary
125th Anniversary
"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of UMES" 1886-2011

The Alma Mater

Musician. Writer. Minister.

The Rev. Daniel Lyman Ridout Sr.These are just a few words to describe the remarkable Daniel Lyman Ridout Sr., an alumnus of Princess Anne Academy and author of the institution's alma mater.

The Ridout name was synonymous with music in the early 20th century. A third-generation Methodist pastor, Ridout was born March 10, 1898 in Chestertown, Md.

His innate musical talent was cultivated by his father, the Rev. Daniel Archie Ridout, who also was a gifted musician. The younger Ridout's exceptional musical ability was second only to his writing and speaking skills. For his graduation from the Academy on May 30, 1918, Ridout delivered an oration, "War, Negro Patriotism and Peace," and composed the music for "Parting Days," the class song. It was among the many he composed during his twenties, including "Marching On For Jesus" and "Hail, the Risen King."

After graduation, Ridout enrolled in Morgan College, a private institution in Baltimore, but returned to Princess Anne following his father's death on July 19, 1919. Ridout served as secretary to Academy principal Thomas H. Kiah as well as the school's musical director and director of the popular Princess Anne Academy Quartet.

When the school was renamed Maryland State College in the mid-20th century, Ridout wrote new lyrics to accompany his original 1918 commencement year composition. The song became the institution's alma mater and resonates today in the hearts and souls of alumni.

{Ridout's 1918 melody also was used by the class of 1922 for its song; graduate Gentry Kersey wrote different lyrics for it, however.}

Ridout studied at Ithaca Conservatory of Music in New York and completed graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University in Philadelphia.

His family's interest in music and commitment to Methodism laid the foundation for a productive ministerial career, which began in 1924. Over the next 25 years, Ridout would pastor across the Delaware Conference, an area that included charges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Between 1953 and 1965, Ridout was administrative assistant to renowned Methodist Bishop Edgar Amos Love, who co-founded Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Ridout, who served as president of Bridgeton, N.J. branch of the NAACP during the 1940s, was involved in the merger of the White and Negro church conferences, which he described as "a great step forward for Methodism, and for the Christian church as a whole in America."

Ridout also wrote a book of poetry about his life's experiences, "Verses from a Humble Cottage" (1924), served as Negro press representative for the Methodist church in 1944 and was a member of a committee that revised the Methodist hymnal in the mid-1960s.

He received an honorary doctorate in 1963 from Allen University, an African Methodist Episcopal institution in Columbia, S.C., in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of church music.

Ridout married Caddie A. Washington, with whom he had two children; Vivian Ione and Daniel, Jr. Caddie died in 1950. His marriage to Frances Jefferson produced two daughters, Patricia and Danita. Frances J. Ridout died in 1974. He also was married to Beatrice Conway of Salisbury, but they had no children.

Ridout retired in 1971 and died on June 15, 1982. His legacy as an important figure in the history of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will forever "shine thou in endless splendor, beneath the trees serene."


Photo courtesy of Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, Pa.

"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore" 1886-2011