Seniors take last steps through campus
Aggies signify transition with Elephant Walk
Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
Seniors will step off at 2:07 p.m. from Kyle Field and end at the Fish Pond. Along the way, the Class of 2007 will stop at the 12th Man statue, the Quad, the Jack K. Williams Administration Building, the H2O fountain and the Sul Ross statue. Yells will be led at various stops.
Before Elephant Walk begins, T-shirts and pictures with live elephants will be available at the Clayton Williams Alumni Center. A senior program will begin at 1 p.m. at Kyle Field, where the class gift will be announced.
Elephant Walk began in 1922, according to the Traditions Council's website. Two Aggie Band freshmen, Oluf G. "Piccolo Red" Carson and J. William "Sarge" Dorsey, left Kyle Field after the second consecutive loss of the season, playing a funeral march to break the jinx they believed haunted the A&M football team. Others joined the march, creating a chain of Aggies. Freshmen continued this walk until the end of the football season.
During their senior year, the Class of 1926 had one last walk. Led by the same two Aggies, they rested one hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them and walked around campus in their senior boots, un-tucked military shirts and backward hats. The procession reminded onlookers of elephants who wander off to find a place to die when they are no longer useful to their herd. This observation gave the new tradition the name Elephant Walk. The tradition has continued to date.
Elephant Walk Director Mary Katherine Henderson said Elephant Walk is a solemn occasion for seniors and a chance for reflection.
"Elephant Walk is a sad time, because our friends are leaving, but we get to think about our time here and what we have given to the University," said Henderson, a senior nutritional sciences major.
Lauren Johnson said she is going to Elephant Walk with her roommate of three years and her boyfriend.
"It will help with closure," said Johnson, a senior communication major. "We have made our mark on the University, and it is time for younger classes to step up."
In 1992, Junior E-Walk was instituted for the junior class to celebrate becoming the leaders of the campus.
The Class of 2008 will step off at 2:08 p.m. at Rudder Fountain and will end at Kyle Field. They will visit the Sul Ross statue, Albritton Tower and the 12th Man statue.