What is an Aggie? And other facts about Texas A&M


Texas A&M Corps of Cadet Company E-2 member Ryan Crawford runs with university mascot, Reveille VIII, before an NCAA college football game, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, in College Station, Texas. A&M beat SMU 46-14. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.

Texas A&M, which the Southeastern Conference in preparing to welcome into its fold, has a rich history and numerous well-established traditions. Here's the skinny on the Aggies from the Texas A&M website:

It's the oldest public institution of higher learning in Texas. State lawmakers created the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas on April 17, 1871. Five years earlier the state had agreed to create the college under the federal Morrill Act.

The people of Brazos County offered the state 2,416 acres, and classes started in 1876. Until the 1960s, it was all-white, all-male and all-military. The campus -- now more than 5,200 acres -- is mostly in College Station.

The name was officially changed in 1963 to Texas A&M. It now has a diverse student body of more than 49,000 -- "38,000-plus undergraduates and more than 9,000 graduate students studying in over 250 degree programs in 10 colleges."

It is one of three "Tier 1" universities in Texas, along with the University of Texas and Rice. Texas A&M is one of only six senior military colleges, and its voluntary Corps of Cadets is "the largest uniformed body outside the national service academies."

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened on campus in 1997.

MASCOT

Reveille VIII, a full-blooded collie. Called "Miss Rev," she is the highest-ranking member of Texas A&M's Corps of Cadets. The university website provides this account of how Reveille I came to be the school's mascot:

"Reveille I came to Texas A&M in January 1931. A group of cadets hit a small black and white dog on their way back from Navasota. They picked up the dog and brought her back to school so they could care for her. The next morning, when "Reveille" was blown by a bugler, she started barking. She was named after this morning wakeup call. The following football season she was named the official mascot when she led the band onto the field during their half-time performance. … It was not until a later Reveille that she was a full-blood Collie."

COLORS

Maroon and white. Some games are designated "Maroon Outs," when fans all wear maroon.

WHAT IS AN AGGIE?

The university website answers this question with a citation from "Texas A&M Traditions and Spirit," by C.J. Bible.

"An Aggie is a student at Texas A&M University. In the early 1900s A&M students were referred to as Farmers. The term Aggie began to be used in the 1920s and in 1949, when the yearbook changed its name to Aggieland, Aggie became the official student body nickname."

TRADITIONS

A university fact sheet lists the following Aggie traditions:

-- The 12th Man – Students stand during football games to show support.

The tradition of the Twelfth Man originated in January 1922 during a game against Centre College when the Aggies had "dug deeply into their limited reserves," according to the university's website. The Texas A&M coach called on E. King Gill, a former player, in case he was needed. Gill suited up and stood on the sidelines.

After the game, he is quoted as saying, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me."

-- Muster – Aggies gather each April 21 to renew friendships and honor those who have died. The biggest muster is on campus, but alumni also gather in musters around the world.

-- Yell Practice – A midnight rally is held on the eve of football games. It's at Kyle Field for home games and at announced sites for away games. "Aggies yell; they don't cheer," according to the fact sheet.

-- Silver Taps – A silent campus memorial service on the first Tuesday of months in the regular academic year. They are held if a student died during the previous month.

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