"Softly call the Muster, let comrade answer 'Here'..."
Aggies gathered together on June 26,1883 to live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and in the classroom. By April 21, 1903, this annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas' Independence on San Jacinto Day. These early meetings included field games and banquets for Aggies to reflect and celebrate their memories of Aggieland. 'Let every alumni answer a roll call' wrote the former students. It was not until 1922, however, that April 21 became the official day of events for all Aggies, thus, the annual tradition of Muster was born. The March 1923 Texas Aggie urged, 'If there is an A&M man in one-hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over
the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.
Still remembering and honoring the time spent in Aggieland, the tradition of mustering has grown in strength, meaning, and spirit. By 1929, meeting had grown worldwide, and in 1942 Aggie Muster gained international recognition. Twenty-five men, led by General George Moore '08, mustered during the Japanese Siege of the Philippine island of Corregidor. Knowing that Muster might soon be called for them, these Aggies embodied the essence of commitment, dedication, and friendship- the
Aggie Spirit. They risked their lives to honor their beliefs and values. That small group of Aggies on an outpost during World War II inspired what has developed into one of our greatest traditions.
Muster is celebrated in more than four-hundred places world wide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. The ceremony brings together more Aggies, worldwide, on one occasion than any other event.
The students of Texas A&M University coordinate the Campus Muster. Because Muster was established to bring Aggies together, each Campus Muster is dedicated to the fifty-year reunion class. The Campus Muster involves an entire day of activities for students both present and past. Alumni enjoy a special program including tours of the ever-changing campus. At noon, all Aggies congregate at the Academic Plaza for the Camaraderie Barbecue that rekindles the tradition of the original Muster celebration. That night, the Muster ceremony consists of an address by a keynote speaker, the reading of poems, followed by the Roll Call for the Absent. The Roll Call honors Aggies that have fallen since the last Muster roll was read. As the names are read, a friend or family member answers 'Here', and a candle is lit to symbolize that while those Aggies are not present in body, they will forever remain with us in Aggie Spirit.
Century-old roots provide the basis of Muster as Aggies know it today. It has changed, yet the Spirit in which it was established remains the same. Since the beginning, every Aggie has lived and become a part of the Aggie Spirit. What is felt today is not just the love of a fellow Aggie, it is the spirit of hundreds of thousands of Aggies who have gone before. Muster is how that Spirit is remembered and will continue to unite Texas A&M and the Aggie family. A&M may change, but the Spirit never will.
[ Additional Muster information
is available from the Muster Committee ]