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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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Corps celebrates anniversary

Well over 6,000 former cadets, current cadets, and families – including the oldest living former student and cadet, Virgil Dabney, Class of 1922 and Texas Governor Rick Perry, Class of 1972, will join in celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Corps of Cadets. The 125th reunion will be a dramatic celebration taking place on campus this weekend.
This weekend’s celebration is expected to draw the largest gathering of former cadets since the school was founded in 1876.
The weekend will honor all former cadets and provide a communal celebration with current cadets, said Tony Best, Class of 1972, director of the Corps of Cadets Association, and chair of promotion and marketing for the 125th Anniversary Reunion.
“The emphasis of this weekend has to do with the contributions of the former cadets and the contributions they have made to Texas A&M and our nation, especially given the nation’s current situation,” Best said.
The celebration begins today, with the Corps Scholarship Golf Tournament. PGA Tour Pro Jeff Maggert, Class of 1986, will hold a 9:00 a.m. golf clinic at the A&M campus golf course. Artists Benjamin Knox, Class of 1990, and Tim Vanya will be signing their 125th Anniversary Prints along with John Adams, Class of 1973, who will be signing his new book, Keepers of the Spirit at the Sanders Corp Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tonight at 8 p.m. in Reed Arena, Governor Rick Perry will speak and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band will perform.
“It will be very exciting because [Governor Rick Perry] is a classmate of mine from ’72,” Best said. “He will make a proclamation in recognition of the 125th Anniversary and will have comments regarding the tragic events. But the primary recognition will be on the Corps of Cadets.”
The reunion will also provide an opportunity for former cadets to renew friendships, share stories, and offer encouragement to one another and to the current cadets. This seems especially important during a time in our nations history when military conflicts seem imminent, Best said.
“I have no doubt that many former cadets will be involved in any up-coming conflicts,” Best said. “Unfortunately it’s sad about the tragedy, but this weekend may also be an appropriate time for all to see and recognize what contributions former cadets have made to A&M and our nation.”
On Saturday, events will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue threw the A&M vs. Oklahoma State football game. At 9:30 a.m., the Eternal Aggie Band, consisting of former Aggie Band members, will step out from the Quadrangle and march to Kyle Field. The current Aggie Band will follow behind at 10:00 a.m.
A pre-game fly-over was by vintage warplanes has been cancelled due to the recent attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. However, a “missing man” formation will fly over Kyle Field at halftime in recognition of all former Corps members who have died in service to their country and those killed in the tragedy last week.
Dabney, from the class of 1922 and four other former students, will be escorted onto Kyle Field, each representing a different war. Dabney, who is 101 years old, will represent World War I. He volunteered for service in the United States Army and was inducted into the army in July of 1918.
“He has contributed so much to A&M including a long line of Aggies; my father, me, my two sisters, my uncle, and my cousin all graduated from A&M. He set the precedent for graduating from college,” said Travis Dabney, Class of 1996, who is the grandson of Virgil Dabney, and development officer of the 12th Man Foundation.
Also standing with Dabney at halftime will be Joe L. Buford, Class of 1945, representing World War II, J. Tilford Jones, Class of 1948, representing the Korean War, George A. Kitchen, Class of 1962, representing the Vietnam War and Bobby L. Driesner, Class of 1980, representing the Persian Gulf War.

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