Softly call the Muster…

Yesterday I attended one of the most sacred traditions in the life of an Aggie: Muster. At my freshman convocation we were told that our names would be announced at least twice at A&M, once when we entered the University at freshman convocation and once when we left this life at Muster. 

Here is the beautiful history of Muster: 

Aggies gathered together on June 26, 1883 to live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and classroom. Eventually the annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas Independence on San Jacinto Day – April 21st. Over time the tradition has changed, but its very essence has remained: “If there is an A&M man in one hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.” Muster is celebrated in more than four hundred places worldwide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Aggie Muster as we know it today is credited to E. E. McQuillen ’20, who served as the Executive Secretary of The Association of Former Students.

Muster is a time to look to the past, present, and future…not only to grieve but to reflect and to celebrate the lives that connect us to one another. A gesture so simple in nature yet so lasting in spirit, Muster is the lasting impression every Aggie leaves with us; it reminds us of the greatness that lies within these walls, of the loyalty we possess, of the connection that binds us, and of the idea that every Aggie has a place of importance – whether they are present in flesh or spirit.

Muster last year, from my last year as a student: 

The Roll Call for the Absent:

In many lands and climes this April day
Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.Our loyalty to country, school, we pray,and seal our pact with bond of common might. We live again those happy days of yoreon campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drillFond memory brings a sigh — but nothing more;Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill, On Corregidor    *    years ago todayA band of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar. Before we part and go upon our way,We pause to honor those we knew so well;The old familiar faces we miss so much todayLeft cherished recollections that time cannot dispel. Softly call the Muster,Let comrade answer, “Here!”Their spirits hover ‘round usAs if to bring us cheer! Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.We’ll meet some other dayThere is no death, but life eternFor our old friends such as they!

(That poem makes me cry every time I read it)

My Muster yesterday was in Stillwater and there was food, new Aggie friends and old Aggie stories! It was a blessing to be around Aggies again. I bleed Maroon. Muster is one of the most heartfelt ceremonies that a person will ever attend. I feel so blessed to be part of the Aggie Family.