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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

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

A warm, summer evening bestowed Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday night when the No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies faced the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Commencement to begin new chapter

 
 

Driving down I-10 on Monday en route from one recruit’s house to the next, Texas A&M head softball coach Jo Evans began to talk aloud in her car.
Instead of rambling about coach speak, Evans was reciting the speech she will give at the Commencement Convocation on Thursday in Rudder Auditorium.
“My biggest thing is, it’s important to me that I can convey a clear message,” Evans said. “Obviously it’s important for me to be prepared so right now what better time than four hours in the car to work on my preparation.”
Nearly 1,800 Aggies will graduate the following day at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Evans was sent a letter by University President R. Bowen Loftin, asking if she would accept the honor of speaking to the summer semester graduates.
“I initially was surprised to get the invitation and certainly felt somewhat overwhelmed, but I’m just hoping that I can say something meaningful to these graduates,” Evans said.
Evans, who has coached Aggie softball since 1996, is one of the longest tenured coaches at A&M. In a prepared statement, Loftin said he is sure Evans will have a resounding message among graduates.
“Coach Evans has served our student athletes in many ways – coach, mentor and motivator – with a high degree of success, both on and off the field of play,” Loftin said in a statement. “On a wider scale she is an exemplary role model for all Aggies, especially the scores of young women who have had the opportunity to play under her tutelage and learn from her. She will bring a message that will be highly relevant for our degree candidates and well received by everyone in attendance.”
In previous years the summer ceremony has been reserved for coaches, as women’s basketball coach Gary Blair spoke in 2012 and former football coach Mike Sherman in 2011.
Both Blair and Sherman told graduates to use what they’ve learned at A&M to further themselves in their future endeavors.
For graduating senior communication major, Carson Wyatt, the convocation and her walk across the stage will represent a journey that included starting school at the University of Oklahoma for a year then University of Texas-Tyler before calling Texas A&M home.
“I have cherished the past two years I have spent at Texas A&M,” Wyatt said. “Although I had a very different road to get where I am now, I wouldn’t choose any other school to walk across the stage and receive my diploma. Texas A&M has prepared me not only with the classes, but also the relationships made along the way.”
Wyatt called the summer graduation different than the one she saw friends experience in other semesters. Having finished classes on July 3, there’s been anticipation looming ever since.
“I think graduating in August gives a different mix of emotions than May graduation,” she said. “I finished classes on July 3 so I’ve been waiting for this day for six weeks, but I still feel the bittersweet sensation of leaving college behind. Although I have a mix of emotions going into graduation, I am ready for the beginning of a new chapter.”
Wyatt plans to start a career in commercial real estate and property management after she graduates.
As Evans makes her way back to College Station for Thursday’s speech, she has found a sense of calm after being nervous initially. She has received countless messages of support including one from athletic director Eric Hyman who even sent videos of other athletes and coaches who have spoke at
graduation ceremonies.
“My talent is, as a coach, to inspire and motivate college kids to go out there and perform at their best,” Evans said. “Initially I was sort of hung up on, ‘What in the world do I have to say that is meaningful to these students who have just graduated.’ When I kind of turned it around and looked at it like, ‘Wait a minute, I’ve been surrounded by these same people for 28 years.’ I remind myself, I know who these people are and I’ve been coaching students just like them, which puts me sort of at ease that I can possibly share some of my experiences with them and give them something that maybe can be helpful to them in their next journey.”

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