SOUTH BEND – Tradition is something that the school discusses often and takes plenty of pride in keeping alive. Right at the top of that list is their iconic fight song.

“The Notre Dame Victory March” was written in 1908 and has been a staple of Fighting Irish athletic events of the last century, with the music and lyrics among the most recognizable of any songs in college sports.

On Friday, the university has decided to make a rare change to the “Victory March” and it has to do with the last two lines of the song.

The phrase “While her loyal sons are marching, Onward to victory” will now be replaced with “While her loyal sons and daughters, March on to victory.” It’s being done in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the admission of women as undergraduate students to the university which coincides with 50th anniversary of Title IX.

A change to the fight song also came with the announcement of changes to “Main Circle,” the ceremonial entrance to the school, which will also be done to pay tribute to this anniversary as well.

“The success Notre Dame enjoys has been shaped by the extraordinary leadership and contributions of the women who have been and are a part of the Notre Dame community — beginning with the four Holy Cross sisters who arrived in the Indiana wilderness in 1843, to those who lead, teach, learn, minister and work here today,” said university president Father John Jenkins in a statement released by the school. “On this occasion of the anniversary of the admission of undergraduate women in 1972, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of women as students and graduates.

“The re-imaging of the Main Circle will be a tribute at the heart of our campus to the ways in which these women have inspired, led and enriched us.”

The “Victory March” was written by Notre Dame graduates John and Michael Shea in 1908 and was first performed in the winter of that year. Per the school, the song’s first playing on campus was on December 1, 1908.