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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

100 years of Aggie tradition

Cal+M.+Graham%2C+Class+of+1923%2C+is+the+great-grandfather+of+construction+science+junior+Graham+Kraft.
Courtesy of David P. Kraft

Cal M. Graham, Class of 1923, is the great-grandfather of construction science junior Graham Kraft.

While many second- or third-generation Aggies may have parents or grandparents present them with their rings this weekend, the Kraft’s Aggie lineage goes back farther than most.
Construction science junior and Squadron 17 cadet Graham Kraft will be receiving his ring this Friday, April 8, exactly 100 years after his great-grandfather, Cal M. Graham received his in 1922.
Graham Kraft’s grandmother Janet Stiles said Cal was in the Class of 1923, and his family recently found him in the 1922 Aggieland Yearbook as a member of the Corps of Cadets.
“Nobody knew if Cal graduated or not,” Stiles said. “But he did get his ring and it was a Class of 1923. This family treasure is now worn smooth with wear and time and in the possession of his son, Gordon C. Graham, Class of 1958. We were unable to determine if Cal graduated, but [he] is listed in the 1922 yearbook as a junior.”
After college, Stiles said Cal ran a dairy farm that delivered milk to A&M students, who were all male cadets at the time, and door-to-door to Bryan and College Station homes, restaurants and grocery stores.
“The Graham farm was located about five miles south of College Station on Wellborn Road.
There is currently a road named Graham Road that was the site of this farm,” Stiles said. “The dairy farm lasted many years, and then Cal Graham and two partners built the Brazos Creamery in Bryan, where they had an ice cream bar that was a very popular spot for families in the Bryan-College Station area.”
After the creamery went bankrupt in the 1950s, Stiles said Cal was forced to auction the dairy farm on Wellborn, and then with his wife Edith Sims Graham purchased the Blue Top Courts, a motel on what is now Texas Avenue, along A&M’s east entrance. Stiles said at the time, Cal’s son Gordon was in high school.
Stiles, Gordon’s ex-wife, said he grew up in Bryan and moved to Dallas after he got out of military service. Stiles and Gordon then had two children, Graham Kraft’s mother Gaylan Graham, Class of 1992, and Stephen Graham, Class of 1990, who was also in the Corps of Cadets.
“Stephen was a Sul Ross Volunteer and was on the rifle drill team that was at the George Bush inaugural parade. He did a lot with the Sul Ross Volunteers,” Stiles said. “His son, Cal Graham … is going to go to A&M, Class of 2026. He just announced it last week.”
Gaylan said the long lineage of Aggies is family tradition.
“My dad [Gordon] grew up in Bryan and had [A&M] season tickets. Even though we lived in Dallas, we would come to almost all the home games,” Gaylan said. “From the time we were very small, it was ingrained in me. My father used to joke with me, I could go anywhere I wanted to go to college, but if I went to A&M he would pay my way. So, he was kind of joking, kind of not joking, but I’m not sure I really wanted to go anywhere else anyway.”
David P. Kraft, Class of 1990, Graham Kraft’s father, said he originally wasn’t sure about where to go to college, but after a family friend told him all about A&M, he visited and was instantly in love with the school.
“I’m a first-generation Aggie, I married into [the Grahams], but A&M is what I wanted my kids to have,” David said. “I think that there’s so much more that you get out of A&M than your education. You get camaraderie. You get the school spirit. You get the tradition of the Corps of Cadets, the networking relationships. There’s just so much from that. It’s not just about academics and schoolwork, and that’s what we wanted for our kids.”
Graham Kraft said he feels he is part of a legacy and the ring is his rite of passage.
“My whole family are Aggies, l grew up coming to College Station, going to games and always saw the ring and always knew I wanted one since I was a kid,” Graham Kraft said. “It’s surreal to finally get mine on Friday. It’s crazy, I’m super excited about it.”
Graham Kraft said he is excited to see his grandfather Gordon this weekend, and he is the one who is going to present him with the ring. Gaylan said Gordon is also bringing Cal’s original Class of 1923 Aggie Ring to Ring Day.
Graham Kraft said this weekend with his family will be a celebration of his lineage, along with his sisters, Tori Grace Kraft-Spiars, Class of 2020, and Gabrielle Kraft, Class of 2025.
“I’m also in the Ross Volunteer company and we have a Parents Weekend performance on Saturday morning, and I’m really looking forward to that because both my uncle and my grandfather were in the Corps, and my uncle was a Ross Volunteer as well and have a bunch of family friends that were [Ross Volunteers] that will be there,” Graham Kraft said.

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  • Construction science junior Graham Kraft is a Ross Volunteer from Squadron 17 of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. 

    Courtesy of David P. Kraft
  • Construction science junior Graham Kraft‘s family will join him when he receives his Aggie Ring on Friday, April 8, celebrating 100 years of family tradition.

    Courtesy of David P. Kraft
  • Cal M. Graham, Class of 1923, received his Aggie Ring in 1922. His great-grandson construction science junior Graham Kraft will receive his ring on Friday, April 8, 100 years after his great-grandfather.

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