12th Man

The traditions of Texas A&M University are a key aspect of the culture of Texas A&M University. Some of the school traditions date to the 1890s, shortly after the opening of the school, while others have been introduced more recently. These traditions encourage current students and alumni (Aggies) to cultivate the Aggie Spirit, a sense of loyalty and respect for the school, and dictate many aspects of student life, including how to greet others, how to act at an A&M sporting event, and what words a student may use in conversation. The most visible tradition among senior class students and alumni is the wearing of the Aggie Ring, whose design has been relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1894. Not all Aggie traditions are recognized by the university, and some, like Bonfire, have been discontinued for safety reasons. Texas Monthly states that the students’ respect for school traditions and values is the university’s greatest strength. Incoming students are generally first exposed to traditions when they are greeted with the official Texas A&M greeting “Howdy”. Since the 1950s, incoming students have been offered orientations, led by current students, which teach the various traditions, songs, and yells in current use. On campus, the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets is known as the “Keepers of the Spirit” for its staunch defense of Aggie traditions. A subset of the Corps, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, is the official marching band of the university. Many school traditions revolve around sporting events, especially football. Before games, university yell leaders host yell practice, similar to other schools’ pep rallies. Instead of cheers, students learn yells. Since 1922, students, known as the 12th Man, stand throughout football games, symbolizing their willingness to step in and assist the team. The official mascot, a dog named Reveille, is present at most official university activities, including sporting events.

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