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

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

The Battalion

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Kathleen Gibson named 2018 Muster speaker

Photo by Courtesy

Kathleen Gibson, Class of ’81, will present the keynote address at 2018 Aggie Muster.

Kathleen Gibson, Class of 1981, will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Muster Ceremony, upholding an essential element of Aggieland’s most somber tradition.
Gibson is the second woman to be named Muster Speaker after Brooke Leslie Rollins became the first in 2007. Gibson currently serves as the president and CEO of the Southwestern Medical Foundation.
Each year, Aggies come together and honor those who have died in the last year. The largest Muster ceremony is held on campus in Reed Arena, and honors the memories of current students and former students deployed with the military within the past year. Faculty, staff, members of the 50th anniversary class and immediate family members of current students will also be honored at the ceremony.
“Muster, to me, is the foundation,” Gibson said. “It represents the base on which we build. It is the utmost support. It reminds us of the spirit and the network that we sustain. It is the highest form of respect. It is a very public testament to the honor we have for each other as Aggies and it binds us together. So it matters a lot to me and it means the world to have such an honor. I treasure the things that Muster represents.”
Serving as chair of the Association of Former Students board in 2014, Gibson remains very active on campus, serving on the advisory council for A&M’s International Business Studies and as a trustee for the Texas A&M Foundation.
“I have always seen Texas A&M as an incredibly welcoming place and I see how hard Aggies work to keep it so,” Gibson said. “I don’t take for granted that it is very difficult to transition from a small, all-male military environment to a school that has not only retained its Corps and its traditions, but also has grown to be one of the largest and best schools in the world.”
A previous Fish Camp namesake, Gibson has also received the Women’s Legacy Award from the Women Former Student Association and the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry Award from the Department of Agricultural Economics.
A Dallas resident, Gibson has been very active in her community, including serving on the boards of the Children’s Medical Center, the Dallas Center for Performing Arts Foundation, the Lamplighter school, Dallas Citizens Council and the Regional Chamber Board.
The Dallas Business Journal named Gibson a “Top 25 Industry Leader in Women in Business.”
“Looking through the families, the alumni, the 50 year class, Kathleen is truly a powerhouse of a woman; she has a way of drawing everyone in and that’s a rare trait to have,” Ashley Rossini, speaker executive for the Aggie Muster Committee and sociology senior, said.
Malenie Areche, roll-call families executive and supply chain management senior, said she couldn’t be more excited about Gibson’s selection.
“She’s been plugged in and has been such an integral part of this university,” Areche said.
Areche has been heavily involved in Muster for the last four years, and said each ceremony elicits a unique, emotional response in her.
“Every year, I’ve known someone has been honored and this year is no different,” Areche said. “I have so many emotions when Muster approaches, it’s such an exciting time and I’m truly looking forward to it.”
According to Gibson, of all A&M’s traditions Muster is among the most solemn, but it helps Aggies grow stronger as they go through their lives.
“Our university has a tremendous resilience and set of grounding values,” Gibson said. “The pendulum may swing, but it comes back, and we grow stronger, more determined through the journey. I am proud of all the well deserved recognition our university receives today — in scholarship, leadership, research and lasting impact around the world.”
The Muster Ceremony will be held April 21 at Reed Arena. The Association of Former Students will call all names on the Worldwide Muster Roll Call in a public reading to be live-streamed at sunrise.
“Even though we may not always achieve it, strive to be the bright side of the road,” Gibson said. “You are a spark who can lead and shape the world for good. Aggies have modeled this for us since Aggieland began.”

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