By far, one of Texas A&M's most honored traditions is Silver Taps.
Silver Taps is held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away
while enrolled at A&M. This final tribute is held the first Tuesday
of the month when a student has passed away the previous month.
The first Silver Taps was held in 1898 and honored Lawrence Sullivan Ross,
the former governor of Texas and president of A&M College. Silver Taps
is currently held in the Academic Plaza. On the day of Silver Taps, a small
card with the deceased students name, class, major, and date of birth is
placed as a notice at the base of the academic flagpole, in addition to the
memorial located behind the flagpole. Around 10:15 that night, the lights
are extinguished and hymns chime from Albritton Tower. Students silently
gather at the statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross. At 10:30pm, the Ross Volunteer
Firing Squad marches into the plaza and fires three rifle volleys.
Buglers then play a special rendition of Silver Taps by Colonel Richard Dunn.
Taps is played three times from the dome of the Academic Building: once to the
north, south, and west. It is not played to the east because the sun will never
rise on that Aggie again. After the buglers play, the students silently return
to their homes. Silver Taps is a sacred tradition that Aggies hold dear.
[ Additional Silver Taps information is available from the Division of Student Affairs ]