Female Corps Cadets Reunite at A&M

By  | 

For three days, three decades worth of female corps cadets returned to A&M to reminisce, and to see how things have changed in the 30 years since women first donned the uniform.

"Just the exposure to the current corps and the number of women that have followed us is just awe-inspiring," said Linda Albritton, A&M Class of '78.

Don Roper commanded the first women in the corps back in 1974. "Many women who came to us that first year did not know that there were not women in the corps," he said. "They came, they listened, and yet they joined. And then they understood very early on in that semester what our obstacles were going to be for the rest of the year."

"The difficult thing is seeing that there are still obstacles to overcome instead of everyone playing on a level playing field," said Dan Anderson, a cadet from the class of 1975. "A lot of good people here who sacrificed a lot to get us where we are today."

As events concluded Sunday, the focus was squarely on the newly-placed bricks of three cadets who had passed away: Sharon Turner, Charla Gwin, and Darlene Snyder Anderson, who Dan Anderson met as a cadet and eventually married.

Not only was Darlene on the first women to be in the corps, her daughter, Marlena, also became a cadet, making her the first daughter of an Aggie corps cadet to join the prestigious group.

"Part of me, you know, as a daughter, it's just, needless to say, sad," Marlena said. "It's very emotional. It also just makes me happy. It makes me happy that she was here, and that she was, along with these other women, starting something that so many women behind her are going to follow."