COLLEGE STATION Memorial services for Texas A&M University’s retired mascot, Reveille VII, will be held at Reed Arena on the evening of Sept. 6, announced ceremony organizers.
The services to honor the 12-year-old American Collie that, at the time of her death on May 30, had been retired as Texas A&M’s mascot for more than five years, are tentatively set for 7:30 p.m.
Members of the broad-based committee planning the ceremony say they intentionally scheduled the service to formally remember Reveille VII after all the students returned to campus and had an opportunity to settle into the new semester.
The committee includes university staff and Tina and Paul Gardner, the College Station couple who have cared for Reveille VII in their home since her retirement in 2008. Mr. Gardner is a 1966 Texas A&M graduate.
“Having Reveille VII with us for five glorious years has been one of the greatest things to happen to us during our 46 years of marriage,” Mr. and Mrs. Gardner said in a statement immediately following the retired mascot’s death. “Besides our son, Todd, and his family, wife Stacey, and our three precious grandchildren — Avery, Addison and Adam Gardner — Reveille VII was right up there in our hearts and eyes.”
Mr. and Mrs. Gardner were asked by university officials to open their home to Reveille VII because of their active involvement with the university, especially the Corps of Cadets, for more than 40 years. Their son, Todd, is a member of Texas A&M’s Class of 1994 and was a member of Company E-2, the corps unit with which the university’s mascot traditionally resides.
The couple established a fund in 1998 to help cover out-of-pocket expenses for the cadet in Company E-2 designated to be the mascot’s primary handler. Additionally, they established a $50,000 endowment for the benefit of the Small Animal Clinic at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences “to give back to the university for the prestigious honor of taking care of Reveille VII during her retirement.”
The Tina and Paul Gardner Reveille VII Research Endowed Fund was established through the Texas A&M Research Foundation for basic science research. The couple invite others to make tax-deductible donations of any amount payable to the fund.
Rev VIl’s successor, Reveille VIII, is also an American Collie.
Please make checks payable to the “Tina & Paul Gardner Reveille VII Fund” and mail them to the attention of Leo Paterra, Texas A&M Research Foundation, 400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South, Suite 300, College Station, Texas 77843.