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The Battalion

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

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Displaying their stories

Photo by Abbey Santoro

Friends, classmates and fellow Aggies had the opportunity to leave their regards to those being honored. 

Honoring Aggies who have passed away, the Muster Reflections Display allows students to view living memorials and connect with the names on the 2021 Muster Roll Call.
In preparation for Muster on Wednesday, April 21, student coordinators set up a Muster Reflections Display in the Flag Room of the Memorial Student Center, or MSC, as is typically done every year for the event. Families create the memorial for their loved ones so students can learn more about the individual honorees. Approximately 40 of the 106 honorees’ families have chosen to participate in the display this year.
Reflections Display coordinator Batia Guido said at the end of the academic year, Texas A&M wants to provide families a way to honor their loved ones and Aggies a chance to know the faces behind Muster.
“We [can] get in this situation of forgetting that these are people that we’re honoring and not just a ceremony,” Guido said. “I always tell the families that [they] want to put items on there that help other Aggies connect with those who are being honored. It’s just a way for current Aggies to look at who we’re honoring … so that when they go to Muster, they’re more moved by it and understand the [honorees] more.”
There are tables lined around the perimeter of the MSC Flag Room, Guido said, and each memorial is about three feet in size, adorned with belongings of the families’ loved ones.
“It goes from Silver Taps honorees … increasing in age, all the way to professors, faculty and staff,” Guido said. “You can find things such as their favorite candy, books, photos [and] things that are personal to them.”
Guido said families take from 10 minutes to three hours to set up their displays, but they all take the process to heart.
“It’s been such an honor to talk to other families and see the joy in their eyes when they’re excited that they get to set their display up or get a little sad because they miss them [since] it was too soon,” Guido said. “That’s what‘s so beautiful about Muster … This means a lot to them more than we as students will ever know.”
While viewing the display, communication senior Madelynn Simpson said although the items showcase only a small part of the honoree’s life, they are still important in conveying these Aggies’ legacies.
“There was no small impact. Just stepping foot on campus was so important, and their lives deserved to be honored,” Simpson said. “It’s sad, but it’s just a beautiful way to remember their names and the impact they had at A&M.”
Because Muster took place online last year due to COVID-19, Guido said this year is especially important for the display because there may be a lack of understanding among the students as to why this tradition is beloved.
“It’s really important for the students to connect with the on-campus Roll Call to keep the tradition alive and to keep the Aggie Spirit within us,” Guido said. “It takes such a little instance for one to feel the Aggie Spirit within Muster, whether it’s … connecting with someone who’s being honored in the Reflections Display or even going to Muster and hearing a name that you’re familiar with and saying, ‘Here’ for them.”
Materials science and engineering senior Greg Wong said as a result of the pandemic, students are so used to seeing names on a screen, but the Reflections Display allows for a deeper emotional connection.
“If we are an Aggie family, we need to be able to recognize each other’s lives,” Wong said. “You can’t know every other Aggie, but we can come here and see parts of each other’s lives that we wouldn’t have insight into. Muster … can just sometimes feel like a long list of names, but this really personalizes that experience and makes it so you understand each one of those names was a person.”

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