On April 21 at 7 p.m., current and former students, faculty, staff and others will gather in Reed Area to remember and honor the Aggies who have passed away in the last year.
Muster is a traditional ceremony of Texas A&M which started over a century ago to remember Aggies who passed away since the last gathering, according to the Muster website. The campus Muster is a formal ceremony, while other Musters around the world can be held informally. The tradition of Muster states if there are Aggies within 100 miles of each other, they should gather, share a meal and remember their days at A&M on April 21 of each year.
Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of communications and human resources at The Association of Former Students and Class of 1988, said she believes Muster is the true exposure of the core traditions of A&M
“In my opinion, Muster is the greatest of our Aggie traditions because it truly boils down what being an Aggie is all about,” Greenwade said. “That’s having respect for our fellow Aggies, having loyalty to our school, having a strong affinity and connection and fondness for our university, and all of those things are included in the Muster ceremony or the Muster gathering.”
Greenwade said Muster is a formal gathering at Reed Arena, but is also a night where Aggies around the world will informally gather to remember and say “Here” for the Aggies they lost in the past year.
“We will have Musters take place in over 300 locations around the world,” Greenwade said. “Those will range from more formal gatherings like we’ll have in Reed Arena with the campus Muster, to very informal casual gatherings of just a few people out of state, out of country, that will get together, share a meal and as part of that they’ll take time to remember those Aggies they knew who passed away during the last year and answer ‘Here’ for them.”
According to an A&M spokesperson, former first lady Barbara Bush will have her name on next year’s Roll Call for the Absent. Waiting until the following year is typical for Aggies who pass close to Muster as it gives the family time to prepare to be at the ceremony. University President Michael K. Young will mention her in his speech.
David Pham, external relations coordinator for the Aggie Muster Committee and recreation, park and tourism sciences junior, said Muster is a tradition unique to A&M.
“It’s the one tradition that I believe sets us apart from other universities,” Pham said. “It’s a time that has a somber component to it because we are remembering those who have passed but also time for Aggies to come together, so that’s why we also have the camaraderie component to it, too.”
This year, the Class of 1968 will be holding their 50th reunion, which will be their last reunion as a single class before joining the Sul Ross group for their 55th reunion, which will continue as such for future reunions.
There will be about 386 former students in attendance for the Class of 1968, which includes their guests. They will begin gathering on April 19 and conclude on April 22, according to Greenwade.