As the Aggie family expands with each passing year, A&M reminds students to reflect on the traditions that have defined Aggieland.
A Spirit Can Ne’er Be Told: Traditions of Aggieland exhibit opened on Oct. 10 and will be displayed in Cushing Memorial Library until Feb. 28. This exhibit features items that have survived decades of history, including historical pieces from the Corps of Cadets, Bonfire, Yell Leaders and more. Former Yell Leaders Richard Biondi, Class of 1960; Bob Segner, Class of 1969; Marty Holmes, Class of 1987 and Roy May, Class of 2015 participated in a panel discussion and led a Yell Practice on the steps of Cushing. The opening day of the exhibition also featured a special display of the 1946 Corregidor Muster flag.
Gregory Bailey, university archivist and William P. Clements, Jr. Collection curator, said that students can gain more insight into the origins of A&M traditions from this exhibit.
“We’re highlighting the different Aggie traditions, to give a little background,” Bailey said. “Some people really don’t know how or when they started and things like that. People understand that A&M traditions are here, but possibly when they are first starting on campus.It gives more history and context to those things than just people knowing what the traditions are.”
History senior and a Cushing student staff member, Tim Ross, said the Bonfire paraphernalia was particularly unique because its rarity.
“We have a torch that lit Bonfire in 1989, which was preserved,” Ross said. “Usually a lot of the torches were burned, but somehow some of them were saved and we were able to get it. And it still smells like kerosene. It’s one of the most interesting things that we do have.”
Attending the exhibit were Yell Leaders, new and old, current students, Old Ags and faculty, brought together by the one university that unites them all. Roy May, Class of 2015 and former Yell Leader, said that showcasing these pieces of history show just how expansive the Aggie family is.
“It’s so organic to student life here,” May said. “Universities separate themselves, obviously academically [regarding] research, but just when it comes to student life, and really the student body and the unity that you have between students, the traditions are really the things that kind of bind us together.”
Current Yell Leaders, likewise, recognized the significance of this exhibit. Sports conditioning junior and current Yell Leader Jacob Huffman said that Aggies should connect with their university’s history.
“I personally believe that is creates a stronger bond between Aggies and our history,” Huffman said. “Tradition is very important at this university, so being able to see exhibits like this and feel that connection is incredible.”
Current students that attended the event understood the value of such an event, as well. English junior Haley Wingate said that the exhibit is a good way for new students to get acquainted with A&M traditions.
“The most important thing is that we keep the tradition alive in our minds, and that all the new Aggies can see our old traditions,” Wingate said. “We get to mingle with former students, and it’s just a really great time, too.”
May said that while this exhibit is an opportunity for former Aggies to reminisce, it is just as vital for current students to attend this exhibit.
“These are your traditions,” May said. “They’re not specific to any one group on campus. You are an Aggie.”