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One Aggie Family's Commencement Tradition

Scot Walker '90 June 6, 2017 9:09 AM updated: June 6, 2017 10:43 AM

Cassie Santos '17 at her commencement ceremony in Reed Arena in May 2017.
Cassie Santos '17 at her commencement ceremony in Reed Arena in May 2017.

Editor's Note: Rolando Santos '78, a journalism graduate and Aggie bandsman who went on to become CEO of CNN Chile, recently posted a nice story on Facebook about a special Aggie tradition in his family. He gave us permission to share it with the worldwide Aggie Network.


This is a photo of my niece, Cassie, holding her diploma in one hand and a Santos nameplate in the other. It is the FOURTH time in 50 years that that nameplate has crossed an Aggie commencement stage.

The nameplate was first issued to my brother, Frank, XO of E-1, Class of 71, in 1967, his fish year. When he graduated, I kept it along with his insignia of rank. I used the same nameplate during my four years along with his rank insignia, as we were both captains—in my case as a BQ and staff officer.

Cassie opted not to join the Corps. When she left for A&M, I gave her the nameplate and told her about its history. It has seen a Southwest Conference championship where the Aggies beat Bear Bryant; numerous victories over tu; Silver Taps and Musters; and more than one crapout session.

At the time that I gave it to her, it had been part of three commencements: my brother's, mine, and I had it with me when I GAVE the commencement speech at A&M 30 years after I graduated.

Cassie kept it in her room at A&M during her time there and surprised us all (especially her teary-eyed uncles) by wearing it across the stage one last time last week.

In my book that is a GOOD BULL story. Whoop!!!! Congratulations, Cassie!!!!

Original Facebook post from May 19, 2017

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