There’s a spirit can ne’er be told here at Texas A&M, but each semester these Aggies give it their best shot.
Tradition at A&M is as simple as saying “Howdy” to your neighbor on the way to class. It can be selfless, like partaking in clean-ups for the surrounding community. More than once it can even feel ridiculous, like desperately trying to convince one’s parents the rumble strips on George Bush Drive really do vibrate, “Hullabaloo Caneck Caneck.”
Where words may fail, tradition unites, so here are five Aggie customs students can Gig ‘em with this fall semester.
Pennies on Sully
In need of last-minute salvation before a Tuesday exam? According to Aggie folklore, placing a penny at the foot of the Sul Ross Statue in Academic Plaza might grant a student a bit of extra luck on any upcoming assignment. A mound of pennies occupies the statue of the former A&M president given his willingness to help students with their homework, and only asking “a penny for your thoughts” in return. Students can take comfort in knowing each penny dropped off is actually a donation that will be collected and sent to a selected charity in the Bryan-College Station area each year.
When approaching the highest ranking member in the Corps of Cadets, it is recommended to stand tall, make eye contact and give her the appropriate amount of pats on the head. As the official mascot of A&M since 1931, Miss Rev, a full-blood Rough Collie, is often spotted on campus, whether she be attending class or supporting the boys in maroon over at Kyle Field. As the embodiment of Aggieland’s pride and joy, Miss Rev is entitled to her fair share of influence. For instance, if Reveille barks while in class then the professor should end lecture at once, because Miss Rev is too bored to carry on.
Anticipation for Aggie football doesn’t begin the morning of kickoff, but the night before when more than 25,000 people gather at Kyle Field to celebrate Midnight Yell. Down on the sidelines, Aggie Yell Leaders command their crowd through a series of yells and encouragement in preparation for the following day. Students, faculty and community members alike link arms, swaying to the tune of the Aggie War Hymn and “saw Varsity’s horns off” into the night.
The Aggie Spirit suffered a great tragedy with the Bonfire collapse in 1999. Twenty years on, this memorial stands where past ruins lay. Located on the university polo fields, the Bonfire Memorial was erected using three unique design elements tethered to the tradition, history and strength of the Aggie Spirit. Trampled though it once was, the Aggie Spirit lives on in the Bonfire Memorial as a celebration of century-long unity and a dedication to the lives lost, but not forgotten.
A&M earned the designation of “Home of the 12th Man” the day E. King Gill, a squad player for the Aggie football team, threw on a uniform when any hope of winning the 1922 Dixie Classic seemed lost. Gill never played a down against the Centre College Praying Colonels. Nonetheless, he stood by his team on the sideline acting as the last reserve on a heavily injured bench, and watched a miraculous comeback win unfold. Today, the student section stands for the entirety of Aggie games waiting to be called on, in a testament to Gill, the original 12th Man.