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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

Elephant Walk gives A&M seniors chance to reminisce

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Photo by Abbey Santoro

This year, Elephant Walk had three routes for students to choose from, including main campus, north campus and west campus. 

Elephant Walk, one of Texas A&M’s oldest traditions for graduating seniors, took place Thursday, April 22, at 6:21 p.m. with COVID-19 guidelines in place.
Although Elephant Walk is usually held prior to the last home football game, Class Councils postponed the event due to COVID-19. The tradition began when the 1922 football team suffered consecutive losses, and the class of 1926 decided to band together to break the curse by walking around campus, playing a funeral march. During their senior year, the class walked around campus, remembering their time at A&M. As they walked in a single file line with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them, an observer noted they looked like elephants about to die.
Biomedical sciences senior and Elephant Walk head director Ellie Tilton said the tradition has greatly evolved since then.
“I actually just received an email from someone from the Class of 1971, saying that theirs started at noon, and the goal was to run through as many buildings on campus that you possibly could,” Tilton said. “It’s been really cool to learn the history and learn how each class has had a different style Elephant Walk.”
Last year, Tilton said she joined the Elephant Walk committee after four years of participating in Class Councils.
“I got to serve under an amazing head director and her assistant directors,” Tilton said. “Through working with them and seeing all of the time and effort put into the event, and just seeing how excited students were to unite and how powerful the event was for the directors as well as the students, it definitely sparked my interest. I came to college hoping to find a way to leave my mark, and this is a fun way to do it.”
Due to COVID-19, Tilton said the event took far more planning than usual to accommodate university and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
“We’re so thankful to be able to have this event amidst everything that 2020 and 2021 has thrown at us,” Tilton said. “We’re so thankful to be able to host an in-person event the size that it is.”
In terms of COVID-19 safety regulations, Tilton said Class Councils and the Elephant Walk committee prioritized student safety.
“[We asked] participants to wear face coverings for the entirety of the event and for people to participate in groups, kind of like the same as football games,” Tilton said. “They registered in groups of up to 10 people, and [we asked them to stay] with those people throughout the event and social distance from other groups. We did have to put in a capacity limit for each route, since there’s three routes for Elephant Walk, to limit the number of participants.”
During the event, agriculture communications and journalism senior Hannah Chambers said she realized only a few days ago that these would be some of her last times on campus as a student.
“I want to do as many traditions as I can, even if they’re different because of COVID[-19],” Chambers said. “It’s bittersweet, but I’m trying to make the most of it. I know I’ll be back because I’m going to be back for football games and whatnot, but this is my last time here as a student.”
Agricultural economics senior Kason Moczygemba also said the walk felt bittersweet.
“Taking a final walk around campus is surreal,” Moczygemba said. “I’m glad to be done, but I hate to leave. I just wanted to get one last walk around campus, enjoy the tradition and take it all in.”

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