Silver Taps Will Honor Eight Deceased Texas A&M Students Tuesday

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The first Silver Taps ceremony for the new school year at Texas A&M University will be held Tuesday (Sept. 3) at 10:30 p.m. in the plaza area in front of the Academic Building.

Silver Taps will be held in memory of eight Texas A&M students who have died since late spring, when the last such observance was held. Silver Taps ceremonies are not conducted during the summer when most Aggies are away from campus.

The ceremony, one of the university’s most solemn traditions, will honor the memories of Polo Hafoka Manukainiu, a freshman recreation, park and tourism major from Euless who was a member of the Texas A&M football team, who died July 29 Nathan Walker Hardcastle, a sophomore ecological restoration major from Cypress, who died March 23; Raka Mallick, a freshman industrial engineering major from College Station, who died April 12; Ian Alexander Pogue, a freshman general studies major from Austin, who died April 19; Vergil ‘Coke” Hopping, a graduate student in agricultural leadership, education and communications from Franklin, who died May 2; Travis Terrell Lamb, a sophomore computer science major from San Antonio, who died May 2; Austin Kyle Stanfill, a graduate student in international affairs from Houston, who died May 3, and Saron Alexander Hood, a senior physics major from San Diego, Calif., who died June 5.

On the day of the ceremony, all campus flags are flown at half-staff and a list of the names of those to be remembered is posted at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza. The family of each student to be honored is notified of the ceremony and sent a floral arrangement by university officials.

In honor of these students, the campus will be darkened at 10:20 p.m. In the darkness, students, family and friends will silently gather in the plaza in front of the Academic Building. At 10:30 p.m., an honor guard from the Ross Volunteer Company will march across campus from the Corps of Cadets area to the plaza, where its members will fire three rifle volleys to honor the memory of these students. Buglers from the Aggie Band, unseen in the darkness, will play a special arrangement of “Taps.” The tolling of the Albritton Tower bells will signal the end of the ceremony.

Free parking in the University Center garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. For more information, go to

The first Silver Taps was held in 1898 upon the death of the university’s president, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, and it has changed little from that time.

For more information, go to or contact Student Assistance Services at (979) 845-3113.