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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘The beating heart of Aggieland’

Courtesy of Mary Hein

Retired Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, who has served as the dean of the Bush School of Government & Public Service since 2016, will serve as the 2022 Muster Speaker. 

Dean of the Bush School of Government & Public Service and Ret. Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III has been selected as the Campus Muster Speaker for the 2022 Muster Ceremony.
According to a March 15 press release, Welsh has served as dean of the Bush School since he retired from the U.S. Air Force in August 2016.
Welsh said he is humbled to be chosen as this year’s Muster Speaker.
“It’s an incredible honor and a little scary,” Welsh said.
After Welsh’s speech, the “Roll Call for the Absent” will take place to honor the Aggies who have died in the past year. Welsh said he is most looking forward to attending the Muster ceremony, not just giving the speech.
“I love this entire event,” Welsh said. “I have a pretty small piece and the important piece comes at the end. I’m really looking forward to that. The Roll Call is just a phenomenal, phenomenal experience each and every time.”
Because he is not an Aggie, Welsh said he brings a unique perspective and said he believes it can be beneficial for Aggies to see themselves and Muster through another’s eyes.
“I think it’s important that people understand how great this university is,” Welsh said. “It’s important, I think, for Aggies to understand how great they are in so many different ways and why that matters. I think it’s important for everybody to just kind of remind themselves annually how important Muster is to being an Aggie and to being connected to Aggies everywhere. It’s a remarkable, remarkable tradition.”
Welsh said he believes no one, not even Aggies, can fully understand Texas A&M without attending Muster.
“I’ve always felt that Muster is the beating heart of Aggieland,” Welsh said. “Every Muster ceremony refreshes the Aggie Spirit. It connects former students with current students and it connects today’s Aggies to their incredible legacy, and that connection is what makes Texas A&M Aggies so special.”
Welsh is the son of an Aggie, brother to five Aggies, father of four Aggies and grandfather of a soon-to-be member of the Class of 2026. Although he himself didn’t attend A&M, Welsh said he is part of a quickly growing line.
“Texas A&M has blessed my family, I think is the best way to say it,” Welsh said. “My dad loved Texas A&M. He exposed all of us to it early and often. Five of my six siblings are Aggies. We’ve spent a lot of time around A&M over the years, and my wife Betty and I’s four children are all Aggies. We believe in the place, we believe in what it does for people, we believe in what it prepares you to go do and we believe in the values that it reinforces and every member of our family has attended. I’m just kind of an unabashed fan of the place.”
Every year as Muster approaches, Welsh said he finds himself thinking about his father, Class of 1946, and his sister, Class of 1982, who were previously honored.
“It’s really remarkable to me that each and every year, an incredibly dedicated team of current Aggie students do everything in their power to make this experience, for everyone who attends Muster worldwide, such an incredible success,” Welsh said. “It’s happening on main campus, and the Association of Former Students has a group that’s making this happen for Aggies around the world. It’s just another example of the power of the network in the Spirit of Aggieland and it’s a special, special thing to say.”

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