The first Silver Taps ceremony for the new school year at Texas A&M University will be held Tuesday (Sept. 6) at 10:30 p.m. in front of the Academic Building.
Silver Taps will be held in memory of seven 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 Andrew James Graf, a sophomore general studies major from Argyle who died June 18; Mark Tyler Johnson, a sophomore general studies major from Arlington who died July 15; Kevin Lee Kwiatkowski, a junior computer engineering major from Brenham who died June 27; Sina Masihabadi, a graduate student in industrial engineering from Iran who died April 1; Jeffrey Allen McFarland Jr., a graduate student in health physics from Alvin who died April 3; Anisha Premal Patel, a freshman molecular and cell biology major from The Woodlands who died July 5; and Alex Camden Sandel, a junior geophysics major from Spring who died May 9.
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. For more information, go http://studentaffairs.tamu.edu/sas/silvertaps.
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, contact Student Assistance Services at (979) 845-3113.