It's been a year of firsts for women at Texas A&M University.
The first female was elected president, the women's basketball team made it farther in the NCAA tournament than any previous team, and now there is another first to add to that list.
Samantha Kropp was named the first female drum major Thursday of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.
She'll serve as the artillery drum major, while Elliot Stump will serve as the combined drum major and Adam Broussard will serve as the infantry drum major.
They'll make up the trio you'll see lead the band next year on Kyle Field.
Samantha tells us, it is a day she never thought would come.
"The expression on my face was probably priceless," Samantha Kropp said.
It's also a day that Texas A&M University will remember forever.
"I didn't think I would get picked because I'm a female," Kropp said.
However, this junior architecture major from El Paso is making her mark on what some consider a "man's world."
Samantha will take the field this fall as the first female drum major of the Fightin' Texas Aggie band.
"I hope it changes it for the better and that people can see that no matter what gender you are, anybody can be a good leader," Kropp said.
Her reception has been mixed. Some excited about the change, others not.
"I've heard that other people in the corps have made not so nice comments like 'how could the band let this happen,' and 'why would they pick a girl and things like that.' "
However, comments like that are not about to slow Samantha down.
"To me it doesn't really matter what anybody thinks. The only people I'm looking for respect from are people I'm leading, that's all I care about," Kropp said.
Samantha joined the corps and band as a freshman, with dreams of joining the air-force. She recently found out she won't be able to serve, because of a medical condition.
However, you can bet her passion for service we'll be seen on Kyle Field. As Samantha, changes the way people perceive tradition.
"I think that people's perception of tradition is wrong," Kropp said. "I think tradition is silver taps, muster, the 12th man, midnight yell, I don't think it's men. I don't think that's a tradition."
Women were not allowed to join The Corps of Cadets until 1974 and they were not admitted into the band until 1985.
Other women have tried out for drum major, but have never been elected.
Samantha tells us, she hopes her appointment will change Texas A&M for the better.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.