Students and visitors will have a chance to glimpse into the lives behind the Muster Roll Call this week as the 2016 Muster Reflections Display transforms the MSC Flag Room into a living memorial for those honored at Thursday’s ceremony.
The Reflections Display is set up every year the week of Muster to attach stories to the names read on the Roll Call for the Absent. Families of those honored are invited to set up a display with objects and photographs meant to give viewers an intimate look at who their deceased loved one were. Around 80 families have chosen this year to set up a display.
“It’s a way to put faces to names that we’re going to be calling on Roll Call, and so it’s a way that we get to see who these people were and why they’re so loved and so missed and why they’re people that we want to honor and continue their legacy as members of their specific family and the Aggie family,” said Lauren Evans, reflections display coordinator and marketing sophomore.
Hannah Bezet, reflections display coordinator with Muster Committee and human resource development junior, said the objects brought by the families portray who they were, what they loved and what they were dedicated to during their life.
“It’s really special that students get to go through and get a look into these Aggies’ lives,” Bezet said.
Bryan Tutt’s father — Fehrlin Tutt, Class of 1955 — will be one of the many Aggies honored at the 2016 Campus Muster.
Bryan, who graduated from A&M in 1987, said his family is thrilled to have Fehrlin honored at the campus Muster. He said the family is excited to put together a display for Fehrlin that will be shared with the student body, because A&M played such an important role in his father’s life.
“As much as he loved A&M and what a special place it was, it really meant a lot to us that the university remembers its students, not just in the Muster ceremony,” Tutt said. “But in the [Reflections Display] too, it gives us a place to come and look at him, and once they’re all up, we’ll be able to look at the displays for all the other families and just see that connection that we all have remembering our loved ones.”
Evans and Bezet have worked since the fall to put together the 2016 Reflections Display. The process begins by assembling the physical space the displays will reside in, and continues in the spring with contacting the families to let them know their loved one may be honored in this way.
Every family is contacted and informed of their opportunity to put together a display for their loved one. Evans said some calls are hard to make, but some families are excited to memorialize their loved one with a display.
“Those are the best ones, when you get the calls from the little old grandmothers whose husbands have passed away and they’re telling you about all the things they’re gonna bring and all the things that were so cool about them, then you’re like 30 minutes on the phone,” Evans said.
Both Evans and Bezet have a special connection to Reflections Display. Bezet said when she was deciding where to apply for college, one of her brother’s friends was honored at Muster and the tradition solidified her decision to apply to A&M. Bezet’s brother was also a Muster host during her freshman year, and she got to sit on the floor with him. This inspired her to become a Muster host for two families the following year.
Bezet said she spent every free hour she had when she was a Muster host at the Reflections Display.
“Working those hours and getting to walk through the display and learn about each Aggie and realize that everyone has a different story and everyone has someone who loves them so immensely that they would send in all this information and want to share it with the student body, that was so special to me that when I applied for committee this year,” Bezet said.
Evans had a close experience with Muster her freshman year when her dad unexpectedly died. Evans said going through Muster last year, the part she connected with the most was the Reflections Display.
“I just loved that it was an opportunity that I could show all of my friends over the past year, who my dad was and why I loved him so much and why he was such a unique individual,” Evans said. “I think the Reflections Display was a really cool way to share him with the student body.”
The Reflections Display is open to the public in the MSC Flag Room Monday through Wednesday while the MSC is open, and Thursday until 1 p.m. Muster hosts will be stationed throughout the Flag Room to assist any visitors 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and Thursday until 1 p.m.