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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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Howdy Week events welcome students back to A&M

Aggies+line+up+during+the+opening+celebration+for+the+opening+of+Champion+Station+outside+of+the+Koldus+Building+on+Friday%2C+Aug.+18%2C+2023.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Aggies line up during the opening celebration for the opening of Champion Station outside of the Koldus Building on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.

Starting Aug. 17, Howdy Week welcomed students to Texas A&M with informationals, giveaways and new openings, including an Ice Cream Carnival and the debut of a “Champion Station” at the Memorial Student Complex, or MSC, Barnes & Noble.

The Aug. 18 carnival hosted over 25 booths and thousands of students, according to the Communications Manager for Student Life Mariah Patrick.

“The ice cream carnival is a resource fair intended for students, so they get to know about all the resources and activities that are available on campus,” Patrick said. “We have all sorts of free items as well as giveaways here at the end for students to come enjoy, get free ice cream, cool off in the shade, as well as collect some good resources that might help them.”

Patrick said she thought the event was a success.

“I mean, it’s packed — we’re getting rid of our hats and our towels, all the resource tables are very busy with students,” Patrick said. “It’s an event we’ve built on year-over-year, and I think it keeps getting better and better.”

Many of the resource tables were for the various offices and departments available for students, such as the Office of Sustainability.

“At our table today, we have a couple of activities,” Kelly Wellman, the director of the office, said. “One is educational, in that you can spin the wheel, get a number [and] answer a trivia question to learn more about [A&M] and all the great things we’re doing.”

Wellman said the purpose of the tabling was to raise awareness about what the Office of Sustainability does at A&M, including their internship and job opportunities.

Technology management senior Nathan Armour worked at multiple tents, including a station giving ice cream to students.

“I’m just happy to serve the people, you know,” Armour said. “The main goal is to make students feel welcome to A&M. To tell them we are a family here, that we care for them and that we want the best for them. We’re here to support them throughout their entire academic journey.”

Coinciding with the carnival, A&M also debuted a “Champion Station” at the MSC Barnes & Noble location, furthering the already-existing partnership to include additional Champion apparel at a set location.

“Welcoming Champion Station into our great university bookstore, directly across from Kyle Field, makes it more convenient than ever for Aggie fans to show their spirit,” Shane Hinckley, A&M’s vice president for brand and business development, said in an interview with Texas A&M Today.

The debut occurred in an event in front of John J. Koldus building next to the Ice Cream Carnival. It featured a live DJ, food, a photo booth and a prize wheel.

The general manager of A&M’s Barnes & Noble, Holley Scott, shared the excitement.

“This shop brings excitement with new signage, fixtures, displays, lighting and most importantly, an expanded Champion product line in both men’s and women’s apparel,” Scott said. “We’re super excited for the students to see all the new merchandise in our Champion Station when they arrive back on campus during Howdy Week.”

Hinckley said this deal was “just the beginning.”

“We have much more on the horizon, including a ’70s vault collection rolling out in 2024,” Hinckley said.

At the event, Champion merchandise was given out by staff, one of which being Makenzie Henton, an apparel merchandising major from Baylor University and intern for Champion.

“So we’ve been super excited because we’re trying to better our partnership with A&M and get more students on campus involved, so it’s been a really good turnout so far,” Henton said. “We’re happy to see all the students be super excited about the brand.”

Henton came to College Station to help staff the Howdy Week event.

“Aggieland has got a pretty good partnership, actually,” Henton said. “We have our Champion capitol in the bookstore, too, so that’s this big, special tribute to Champion products. It’s been really, really cool to see. It’s definitely growing — we’re still fostering it, nurturing it, but it’s grown pretty big.”

Thousands of students attended both events, such as sport management freshman Luke Rasmussen.

“I saw that there were events [on campus], but I didn’t expect it to be this big,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said he was excited about the champion apparel as well.

“It’s sweet,” Rasmussen said. “It’s awesome, it’s huge. Yeah, [the Champion Station] is a great setup.”

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  • Texas A&M staff distribute 12th Man towels to students during the Ice Cream Carnival as part of the Howdy Week Festivities at the 12th Man Plaza on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.

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Nicholas Gutteridge
Nicholas Gutteridge joined The Battalion in January 2023 as a news reporter before being promoted to news editor in August 2023. He interned at The Pentagon in Washington D.C. from January-May 2024 with the U.S. Air Force Office of Public Affairs before rejoining The Battalion. He specializes in investigative reporting and will be the managing editor for the 2024-25 academic year.
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