The melody of the College Anthem comes from "Annie Lisle", a popular 1857 ballad by H. S. Thompson, a Boston songwriter in the U.S.A. It was adopted by Cornell University as the University Anthem in 1870. Thompson's tune was then adopted as their alma maters by countless high schools, colleges, and universities worldwide, including quite a few Christian universities in mainland China, such as Yenching University, University of Nanking, Lingnan University.
The lyrics of the College Anthem are written in 1952 by Zia Nai-zing 谢扶雅 (1892-1991), a former lecturer (1952-1957) of the College. They highlight the endless pursuit of perfection in humanity, in accord with the College motto “In Pursuit of Excellence”. There are strong implications in Christianity, with integration of Chinese and Western Cultures.