Classic Christmas Song Gives a Little Extra to St. Lawrence | St. Lawrence University

Classic Christmas Song Gives a Little Extra to St. Lawrence

One of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” has a direct connection to St. Lawrence, and it continues to benefit the University each and every time it plays.

Written by J. Kimball “Kim” Gannon, a 1924 graduate of St. Lawrence, along with Walter Kent and Buck Ram, the song was popularized by Bing Crosby in 1943 and became a top-10 hit that year, joining “White Christmas” to become one of America's most popular homegrown holiday songs, according to the U.S. Library of Congress.

Gannon, who passed away in 1974, chose to make a planned gift to St. Lawrence by including the University in his will, which stipulated that St. Lawrence would receive 30 percent of the royalties from his compositions after his wife’s death. His widow, Norma Allen Gannon, St. Lawrence Class of 1925, passed away in 2000.

Since then, the University has received a monthly check (and will for about the next three decades), representing the royalties paid each time one of Gannon’s songs is performed, used in a movie or television program, or even when one is played on an airplane’s sound system. In recent years, St. Lawrence has received more than $30,000 annually from Gannon’s music. Since September 2000, the University has received more than $557,000 in royalties.

Learn more about Gannon’s career as a popular songwriter and his creative gift to St. Lawrence.