The first Silver Taps ceremony for the new school year at Texas A&M University will be held Tuesday Sept. 4 at 10:30 p.m. in front of the Academic Building.
Silver Taps will be held in memory of four 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 Blake Matthew Schoenrock, a sophomore petroleum engineering major from Mesquite, who died May 15; Luca Bonasera, a sophomore economics major from College Station, who died June 2; Nigel Hart, a doctoral student in psychology from College Station, who died June 2; and Luke Thomas Urbanovsky, a freshman chemical engineering major from Granbury, who died June 16.
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.
In case of rain or dangerous lightning, the ceremony will be moved to Duncan Dining Hall. Free parking in the University Center garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
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.
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