Before over 50 thousand students attended Texas A&M University, there was one who started it all 137 years ago. Now his great-great-grandson is carrying on the family tradition.
Walking the halls of Texas A&M University has a deeper meaning to one fifth generation student.
"This is so close to my heart because it has been going on for so long," said sophomore Zachary Lawrence.
Lawrence's great-great-grandfather, James Archibald McIver, was the very first student to enroll at Texas A&M.
"I guess it is pretty cool thinking I walked where he walked and I'm doing the same things he used to do," Lawrence said. "It's special."
McIver was a Caldwell native and one of the first to join the A&M Corps of Cadets. Like many generations before him, Zachary decided to follow his family tradition and join the corps as well.
"The fact that I'm doing what my dad did and his dad and his dad did is a special thing to me to know that I am getting to do what they got to do 137 years ago," Lawrence said.
Now, he proudly wears the same corps uniform his great-great-grandfather sported in 1876.
"When I look back at the pictures and of not only John Archie, but my dad and seeing what he did in the corps, I think it's a special thing," Lawrence said.
University President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin said Lawrence got into the university on his own merits and he's proud of the cadet.
"I think he really wanted to say, 'I earned this on my own; that my record justified my admission here and not because my name was such and such,'" said Loftin. "I appreciate that very much. It's a very good Aggie spirit he has."
Loftin said he's pleased they are continuing the legacy.
"If he wasn't here, if he hadn't gone to A&M then I wouldn't be here right now and I certainly think it's a special thing that he did, so I just say thank you for starting a family tradition," Lawrence said.
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