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Author Of 'Last Corps Trip' Passes Away

Scot Walker '90 February 8, 2017 4:41 PM updated: February 13, 2017 8:54 AM

Philo H. "Buddy" DuVal Jr. '51, who wrote "The Last Corps Trip" while a student at Texas A&M, has died. He was 86.

The poem is well known among Aggies. It is read at hundreds of Aggie Muster ceremonies around the world every April 21. It is also inscribed on a wall at the Bonfire Memorial

In an interview in 2016 with Stephanie Cannon '06, Duval reflected on his inspiration to write the poem and the reaction to it:

Over the years, not all of his poems hit the mark, DuVal said. Many were crumpled and thrown away, but this one was different. “I started asking people to read it,” he said. “I didn’t have one person say, ‘Why don’t you get rid of this?’”

When his roommate, Joseph Bravenec ’51, took it to a group of seniors, it suddenly grew legs. Head yell leader Red Duke ’50—if his memory serves correctly—read it at the next yell practice.

That was the first time the poem was read publicly, but now more than 60 years later, there’s no way to know how many times it’s been spoken. On April 21, it will be read at Aggie Musters around the world.

Through time and generations, “it holds its own,” he said.

“I’ve just been lucky in that I’ve written quite a few things in my life, and a lot of it has been about the school. I generally do it in a way that says the truth. That’s about all I can tell you.”

You can read that full story at

His obituary is published at

The full poem is at

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