As their 50th class anniversary nears, members of the Class of 1968 will gather to reminisce on their days at Texas A&M.
Class of 1968, Vietnam veteran and former Yell Leader Michael Beggs said the one thing which never goes away is the Aggie Spirit. Muster is the opportunity to renew one’s Aggie Spirit and honor those who have gone on in previous years, according to Beggs.
“We have Aggies that have all different experiences of A&M itself, but Muster is a common experience for all of us,” Beggs said. “It brings all of us from each generation, and from each different experience of Aggieland together on that one day. So we can get together and talk about old times, eat a little and reminisce.”
Anthony “Shady” Groves, Class of 1968 and current mayor of Brady, Texas, said much has changed at the university since he attended as a student. His freshman year was the first year that the school was known as Texas A&M University and began admitting black students.
“We were just all fish together,” Groves said. “A freshman was a freshman and a fish was a fish.”
That was also the first year students were able to reside in an air conditioned dorm, and Groves moved into the dorms now known as Fowler, Hughes and Keathley the year they were built. Success was also found on the gridiron that year.
“In the fall of 1967, Texas A&M won the Southwest Conference, beat Texas for the first time in 10 years and went on to the Cotton Bowl to beat the University of Alabama,” Groves said. “They finished the season 7-4, which was by far the best they had done in those years.”
Groves said while much might have changed since his college days, the spirit has remained the same.
“The traditions, the friendship, the attitude and the atmosphere of the students and staff are similar to what they were 50 years ago,” Groves said.
After attending A&M, Grove worked for the university in Air Force ROTC and taught leadership courses for the Corps of Cadets. He said both experiences played into how he views Aggieland.
“If I was going to sum up being an Aggie in my experience in attending Texas A&M, both in the late ‘60s and working there in the late ‘90s through 2011, was that it was an experience that dramatically changed my life — in terms of the way I did things, the way I viewed things and the way I felt about my Aggie buddies,” Groves said.
Emory “Dan” Daniels, Class of 1968, said A&M provided him with friendships which have lasted 50 years, and his fellow buddies from Squadron 7 were there through the recent passing of his wife, Becky Daniels.
“Each one of them was right there to help me up and to hold me along,” Daniels said.
Daniels is looking forward to seeing his lifelong friends and fellow Aggies this weekend at their 50th class reunion and answering “Here” at Muster.
Beggs said he is grateful to his classmates and outfit buddies for electing him as Yell Leader, selecting him as a Ross Volunteer and a class agent and for being there for him through the ups and downs.
“I’d like to thank Texas A&M for being the great institution that it is, and always has been and I pray always will be,” Beggs said.