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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Aggie football exhibit boasts rich history at Bush Library & Museum

Small+scale+model+of+Home+of+the+12th+Man+Kyle+Field+in+the+Aggie+Football+Exhibit+at+the+George+H.W.+Bush+Library+%26amp%3B+Museum+Sunday+Sep.+3%2C+2023
Photo by Ashely Bautista

Small scale model of ‘Home of the 12th Man’ Kyle Field in the Aggie Football Exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Library & Museum Sunday Sep. 3, 2023

For a limited time, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum invites visitors to view its football exhibit encompassing Texas A&M’s almost 130-year history on the field. 

On Aug. 28, the Bush Library inaugurated “A Spirit Can Ne’er Be Told … A Century of Aggie Football,” an exhibit showcasing the history of A&M football.

The exhibit is a “celebration” of A&M’s football program, from its beginning in the 1890s to the present day, Bush Library museum director Robert Holzweiss said. More than two years of planning went into the exhibit that brings together content from A&M, the 12th Man Foundation, the athletic department and private donors, Holzweiss said.

Holzweiss said the library wanted to have an exhibit to show appreciation to A&M for its continual support. When they decided on the history of football, A&M supported the initiative. As an Aggie, Holzweiss said any Aggie will enjoy this exhibit. 

“A&M is built on tradition and service to others, and our football exhibit highlights many of the wonderful traditions of A&M,” Holzweiss said. “Our Corps exhibit sort of exemplifies Selfless Service, and those two things together really say Aggie Spirit and Aggie nation to me.”

Holzweiss said he encourages students to come to the museum. He said he hopes the students stay and also see Bush’s exhibit, detailing his life, which is nearby. A&M and Blinn students have free entry with a student ID, according to the Bush Library

“I’d love every student to visit,” Holzweiss said. “Visit multiple times. Bring your friends and family with you. I think everyone will enjoy it.”

For freshmen and those new to A&M, the exhibit can teach them more about traditions, Holzweiss said. For upperclassmen, he said it gives them an opportunity to brush up on their knowledge, as the exhibit tells the true story of some of A&M’s “folklore.” 

“When you go to a game, you’ll know why you do what you do,” Holzweiss said.

On display are multiple trophies, including Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy and Von Miller’s Butkus Award, museum volunteer Velinda Corbell said. In addition, there is a section on Reveille and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, she said.

“It’s not just simply seeing a football exhibit,” Corbell said.

Corbell said it’s the little-known facts that are not talked about that visitors will take away. Students will learn new information, and it’s “amazing” to see the progression from “that little dirt field” to today’s Kyle Field, museum volunteer Afshi Mirza said.

“[It’s important] to see how we got to where we are now from the very humble beginnings and to share that with other people,” Corbell said. 

As visitors come in for Aggie football, Holzweiss said he is hoping to get more attendance as SEC games approach. After the season-opening win on Sept. 2, attendance was great, Holzweiss said.

“I would expect big things as we move through the football season,”  Holzweiss said.

The library also hopes to connect strongly with Aggies not living in the Bryan-College Station area, Holzweiss said.

“We want them to know that when they’re back in town, we’re here for them,” Holzweiss said.

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  • George Bush widnbreaker and football jersey, and signed helmet and football by Johnny Manziel in the Aggie Football Exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Library & Museum Sunday Sep. 3, 2023

  • Crowd watch plays from A&M ‘GREATest Games’ in the Aggie Football Exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Library & Museum Sunday Sep. 3, 2023

  • George and Barbara Bush Panel in the Aggie Football Exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Library & Museum Sunday Sep. 3, 2023

  • A guest looks through a section in the Aggie Football Exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Library & Museum on Sunday Sept. 3, 2023. (Ashely Bautista/The Battalion)

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