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Aggie historians share wealth of knowledge

Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 16:09

Texas A&M University is a living, breathing example of a constant recognition of the past and what it means for the present and future. Students present in the Flag Room Tuesday had the opportunity to hear the campus’ extraordinary history from authors who often experienced that history first hand.

Tuesday served as the Memorial Student Center Grand Opening’s Tradition Day. Four Aggie authors — John Adams, John Hoyle, Henry Dethloff and Col. James Woodall — gathered to share their experiences and knowledge.

Adams, author of Softly Call the Muster: The Evolution of a Texas Aggie Tradition and several other books, Class of 1973, was one of the authors to address the crowd. Adams gave tidbits of historical trivia about the University.

For instance, Adams said it’s possible A&M’s official color is maroon because it rhymed with a distinguished Aggie’s last name of Moran. Reveille was named Reveille because one morning as the mascot was walking across campus, she began barking at the trumpets as they played “Reveille,” the morning formation call for the Corps of Cadets.

Outside of giving students the opportunity to learn about the Aggie traditions and history they partake in daily, the event was an attempt to recognize the work of these Aggie historians.

“I think it is a good first attempt to recognize historic work of Aggie professors,” said John Hoyle, professor of education administration, future studies and Class of 1957. Hoyle, author of Good Bull, has been at A&M for 35 years.

“People tell stories, you hear stories. My wife told me to put them in a book,” Hoyle said.

The authors represent hard work and dedication, and a sense of pride in the annals of Aggie history. It’s a distinguished history worth the effort, Adams said.

“I write about A&M history because I enjoy it. It is a labor of love, and it is a great story. It has never been captured until now,” Adams said. “There is a lot of good stuff. It really happened.”

Among students in attendance were cadets who, as keepers of the spirit at Texas A&M, had a lot to learn about their history.

“We have half of these books in our rooms,” said junior history major and cadet Daniel Zika. “They said, ‘Read them. They’re good for you.’”

For Zika, the military tradition and history instilled in the University through the Corps was a reason he decided to come to Texas A&M.

“That’s why I came to A&M,” Zika said. “Because of its strong history and traditions. We had the most commissioned officers in WWI and WWII.”

The authors have made a tradition of storytelling that are continually made accessible to an ever-growing campus and an ever-changing student body. They’re stories that need to be told, Hoyle said.

“Stories grow with the telling,” Hoyle said.


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