TEN THINGS you didn't know about Texas A&M

Friday, November 9, 2007 | 3:53 a.m. CST; updated 4:22 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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10. “Howdy” is A&M’s official campus greeting.

9. The stars on the Aggie Ring, which students receive upon graduation, represent the five stages of an Aggie’s development — intellect, body, spiritual attainment, emotional poise and integrity of character.

8. A&M students stand for the entire duration of football games in case they are needed to go into the game like the original Twelfth Man, E. King Gill, a member of the student body who was asked to suit up in 1922 when injuries depleted the team.

7. A&M is one of only three schools with a full-time Corps of Cadets program leading to commissions in all branches of military service —

Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

6. The Big Event is the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation where students of Texas A&M University come together to say ‘thank you’ to the residents of College Station. The students complete service projects such as yard work, window washing and painting for community members.

5. A&M tradition says that if a couple walks together under the branches of the Century Tree, one of the oldest trees on campus, they will eventually marry. If the proposal takes place under the Century Tree, the marriage is supposed to last forever.

4. The Elephant Walk marks the end of the usefulness of the Aggie seniors to the student body. Thousands of seniors join hands and wander aimlessly about campus visiting landmarks for the symbolic “last time.”

3. Midnight Yell is held the night before each football game. Yell leaders lead the crowd in chants like the BTHO (Beat the hell out of *insert school name*) yell, as well as the singing of the fight song. Lastly, the lights go out, and Aggies kiss their dates.

2. Vocabulary in the Corps of Cadets is restricted by class. Freshmen cannot say “Pisshead,” a nickname for sophomores. Juniors are known as “Serge Butts,” so neither freshman nor sophomores can say either form of the word. Seniors, known as “Zips,” have reserved the word “elephant” and all words dealing with death, dying or guns in reference to the Elephant Walk.

1. A&M’s official mascot, a collie named Reveille, is considered a Cadet General, the highest ranking member in the Corps of Cadets. She is addressed by cadets as “Miss Reveille, ma’am.” If she decides to sleep on a cadet’s bed, that cadet must sleep on the floor. If she chooses to bark in class, that session is cancelled. Upon her death, Reveille is buried in a special cemetery located outside Kyle Field. A small scoreboard is placed outside the stadium so that she can always see the score.

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Rick Peters November 9, 2007 | 9:08 a.m.

Jeff, I'm a first time reader but wanted to commend you for such a nice and factual article on the Aggies. We're the butt of many jokes but are very proud of our school, traditions and student body. Our football program is in a funk now but as with all things, it is cyclical and we'll be back. MU is a fine school as well and except for Saturday, I hope they go a long way this year. Thanks for the refreshing positive article.

Rick Peters
A&M Class of '67

(Report Comment)
Chris Bowers November 9, 2007 | 12:59 p.m.

I am another first-time reader. Thank you for such a positive and accurate article. You did a better job of learning and describing our traditions than most Aggies do! My dad obtained his bachelor's degree in journalism from Mizzou and thereafter taught journalism at A&M for 23 years. Years ago he gave us a tour of your campus and told us about a few Missouri traditions. The most memorable one involved two large stone tigers. He passed away a few years ago, but he would be proud of this article!

Chris Bowers
A&M Class of '86

(Report Comment)
jb jones November 9, 2007 | 4:39 p.m.

only one correction -- The stars on the Aggie Ring, which students receive upon graduation, represent the five stages of an Aggie’s development * intellect, body, spiritual attainment, emotional poise and integrity of character.
The five stars on the shield represent the five stages.
There are 30 stars on the ring if you look hard enough that represent the 30 seniors in the first graduating class with the ring.
JBJones, TAMU '71
UM-Columbia MBA '78

(Report Comment)
Hal Schade November 9, 2007 | 6:29 p.m.

Jeff, what a small world you brought together with your fine article about Aggie traditions! Chris Bowers' dad guided me to graduation from the J department so many years ago and I saw Rick Peters 2 weeks ago at our 40-year reunion! You certainly captured some of our most meaningful traditions. As others said, the very best to you guys...after tomorrow! Represent the conference well...
Hal Schade, class of '67

(Report Comment)
Fred Wright November 10, 2007 | 8:55 p.m.

Holy Cow!!!!

Hal Schade???

Rick Peters???

Good Grief, next I suppose Tom DeFrank will show up.
This is old home week.
Well I had to chime in, this was a wonderful article about A&M and it just goes to show you that maybe Missouri is a class act and a fine group of people to tailgate with.
There is respect and honor in this article and a since of admiration that just touched me and gave me pride and gave me gratitude that there are people out there (Missouri) that honor and respect the same things we do.

Thank you so much for a fine article.

Hal and Rick drop me a line. I missed the reunion because I was on a business trip.

Gig em,

(Report Comment)

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