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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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Silver Taps: Britney Gail Gavitt

Junior+biology+major+and+Granbury+native%2C+Britney+Gavitt+will+be+honored+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+2+in%26%23160%3BAcademic+Plaza+at+10%3A30+p.m.%26%23160%3B
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Junior biology major and Granbury native, Britney Gavitt will be honored on Tuesday, Nov. 2 in Academic Plaza at 10:30 p.m. 

Britney Gail Gavitt lived with one life-long dream: to be an Aggie.
Britney was born in Fort Worth on April 15, 2001, to Holly and Bruce Gavitt. Despite being sick all her life, the health hindrances she experienced were never her identity. Britney was the type of person who worked toward her goals and did whatever it took to achieve them, no matter the circumstances.
“She didn’t want any special treatment — she wanted to make the mark herself,” her mother, Holly said. “She didn’t let her circumstances get in the way. She believed in working for and getting there. It always bothered her when people would use their circumstances, she had no time for that. She hated lying, she hated cheating. She wanted to be the best and she wanted to be at the top, and she was.”
Britney had a brilliant mind, so much so that it was difficult to keep her busy, Holly said. When she was four years old, one of her doctors was an Aggie who Holly said instilled in her that she was going to go to Texas A&M. Britney followed that dream, enrolling at A&M in the fall of 2019 to study biology.
“She basically lived to go to A&M,” Holly said. “It was always kind of a thing, she was going to be an Aggie. I don’t even know how many times she almost passed, but she carried on that dream, and she fought for that dream until she became an Aggie.”
During her life, Britney was surrounded by love and support. Holly said Britney loved her family, her mother, brother Zachary, father Bruce and her horse, Red.
“Her and that horse have a story that is just unreal,” Holly said. “There’s actually a book written about her and that horse. She loved that horse, and that horse loved her. There were a few people in her life that she loved and she loved her doctors and she loved her nurses. At the very, very top of that list is Dr. Vickie Williamson, head of chemistry. She thought she hung the moon.”
Britney was studying to go into the field of astrobiology and did whatever it took to be able to attend her classes and spend time on A&M’s campus. Britney was in a wheelchair due to cardiac problems, but she was determined to spend her first day of classes in Aggieland on her feet.
“I parked as close as I could, and she went into biology, her very first class and she was on her own two feet,” Holly said. “She had her Aggie hat on, her Aggie t-shirt and her maroon backpack and her service dog and she was grinning from ear to ear. At Kyle Field I put her in the wheelchair and we got there and she got out of the wheelchair and she was standing on Kyle Field with all those students and the shape of the 23. She was grinning from ear to ear with that thumb up, and she just couldn’t get enough.”
Jennifer Hernandez, one of Britney’s nurses, said she always knew Britney had a brilliant mind from a young age, and no matter how many times she got sick, she would resiliently bounce back.
“She handled [life] with such grace and strength, way more than adults ever would,” Hernandez said. “She was very resilient. I think the big thing that stood out to me was that when she decided to go to A&M, I was not surprised at all — she fits into the culture just because of her heart. She was so smart and knew her body and her illness in a way that she knew what she wanted. She wanted to go to A&M, and she fought through it in order to meet that goal.”
People were drawn to Britney because of how she handled her life and adversities, Hernandez said, and she was someone who always gave people hope.
“Britney knew how she wanted [her passing] to go,” Hernandez said. “She’s just one of those gems that you find on this earth that just gives you hope. When people knew her they gained a little strength themselves. So many people were involved in her care that loved her. She meant something to many people because you were just drawn to how she would get through things.”
Lindsay Leck, a childhood friend, said Britney was one of the most extraordinary people she knew, and when looking back, she only thinks of how strong she was and of all the amazing things she accomplished during her time.
Britney took the world as it came to her and never complained or made excuses, Lindsay said, and her witty “tell it like it is” attitude would always make her laugh.
“I just really enjoyed all of the times we got to talk and study together,” Leck said. “When I was in high school there weren’t many people that were passionate about agriculture and animals like I was, so it was so nice to have a friend who I could nerd out with about things other people weren’t interested in. She was one of the most genuine friends I have had, and I always knew that she truly cared about what I had to say, and I always enjoyed listening to her.”
Britney taught Leck, and many others, to not let the hardships of this world get in your way or to let them prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
“She often had to miss school but never let her grades slip and was probably doing better than half of the kids that were there every day,” Leck said. “There are times when I am stressed or tired and wish I could just give up, but then I think of Britney. She persevered through everything thrown her way.”

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