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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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Hosts provide assistance to families during Muster

The Aggie Spirit is manifested in Muster Hosts, who share the spirit of the 12th Man with families who have lost loved ones during the previous year.
The tradition of Muster can trace its lineage to 1883, when Aggie Cadets gathered together to celebrate college days. As time has progressed through Aggie history, the traditions of Muster have evolved.
Muster Hosts became a part of that tradition in 1995. Hosts were originally considered greeters for Muster night. In 1998, the hosts grew to include an application process, and their role became cemented in the Muster tradition.
Muster Hosts are selected through a combination application and interview process.
“The qualities that are sought out for hosts include a great passion for Muster and a desire to serve others,” said Emily Oliver, a junior communication major and Host Coordinator in Muster Committee. “They want to support the Aggie family and have a respect for the overall tradition of Muster. They have integrity and character.”
One of the duties of a host is to prepare the student body and Bryan-College Station area for Muster. Each host works shifts at Muster tables around campus during the week before Muster.
“Leading up to the ceremony, Muster Hosts aid the Aggie Muster Committee in forming an accessible and informed body of students who create awareness throughout both the campus and the Bryan-College Station community about Muster-related activities on April 21,” said Katharine Taylor, a junior political science major and Muster Committee Programs sub-chairwoman.
On the day of Muster the roles of a host increases. Hosts can be seen working at the Camaraderie Barbeque, where they interact with students and members of the 50th anniversary class. Hosts answer questions and facilitate for the Reflections Display in the Memorial Student Center Complex Flagroom on Monday and Tuesday.
Before the Muster ceremony, each host is paired with an honored family. The host stays with the family until the ceremony and escorts them to their seats in Reed Arena. After the ceremony, hosts meet again with their families and escort them to a reception.
The interaction with the families is considered to be one of the greatest honors and blessings for the hosts during the process. The relationship that forms during the few hours they meet on April 21 can often carry far beyond.
“Hosts have the great opportunity of having a family that they get to know before the Muster ceremony as well as visit with after the ceremony,” Oliver said. “Beyond Muster, the hosts have the chance of remaining in contact with their host family. It’s extremely encouraging to hear of hosts who have kept up with their host family.”
Hosts act as ambassadors from the Aggie Muster Committee and the University as they accompany the families throughout the evening.
“The needs of every honored family are different, so a Muster Host may act as a friend, liaison, comforter or listener,” Taylor said. “Muster Hosts provide each honored family proof of the Aggie Family, by representing the deep love and commitment felt by the student body and Aggie community for the every name on the Roll Call for the Absent.”
The experience will differ for each host, but all walk away with a respect for the Aggie Spirit.
“I have seen the Aggie spirit at its finest,” Oliver said. “I have seen selfless service. I have witnessed love for such an incredible tradition and love for a school that honors and remembers all of its students. I have learned to appreciate what little time I have here and giving back is so much more rewarding than receiving.”

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