Caitlin "Cait" Shields '11 April 15, 2019 1:16 PM updated: April 21, 2019 6:31 PM
This year, the entire Worldwide Roll Call for the Absent will again be read aloud in a single location—with Aggies answering “Here” for each and every name.
In the modern history of Aggie Muster prior to 2018, there had not been an occasion on which every name on an annual list of deceased former students was called in a single location. Although it is widely believed that the main campus Muster calls or used to call the full roll each year, historical records do not support that belief.
In 2018, The Association of Former Students led the first live Worldwide Roll Call for the Absent, in which every name was called — and answered with "Here" — in a live reading that originated from the Neely Mezzanine in the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center. Speakers mounted on the building carried the roll call over the Texas A&M University campus, and a live internet stream made the entire reading available to the worldwide Aggie Network.
The second annual live Worldwide Roll Call for the Absent will begin at 3 p.m. on April 21, 2019. The live stream of the 2019 roll call will be viewable at tx.ag/here.
The annual Roll Call for the Absent includes the names of all Aggies whose deaths have been reported to The Association since the previous Muster. Some of those deaths happened more than a year ago, but the names are included in this year’s roll call because they have not previously been called at any Aggie Muster.
Names are sent to the Muster closest to where an Aggie lived, but because all Musters historically employ their own methods of selecting names to call, and because there are usually some names with no associated address, there has always been a chance some names would not be called. That is the situation this reading is intended to remedy, said Porter S. Garner III ’79, President and CEO of The Association of Former Students.
“It is fundamental to the Aggie Spirit that every Aggie’s name be called at Muster,” Garner said.
About 30 people will take shifts reading the names on the 2019 Worldwide Roll Call, including top university and system administrators, Association staff and volunteers, student leaders, university faculty and staff, and members of the student Muster Committee.
Media inquiries may be directed to Kathryn Greenwade ’88 at 979-845-7514 or KGreenwade88@AggieNetwork.com.
Names are added to the Worldwide Roll Call (tx.ag/RollCall) when The Association is informed of an Aggie’s passing. See tx.ag/AddAName for details and how to send a name.
In addition to the reading of the Roll Call, a scrolling text video of all the names is also produced each year by The Association; it is shown at the student-run Muster in Reed Arena and on the Alumni Center’s Huddleston Video Wall. It will also be available to watch on AggieNetwork.com starting at 3:21 p.m. Central time on April 20, which is the time that Muster Day will dawn in Sydney, Australia, home of the easternmost Texas A&M Club.
More information about Muster, including the campus ceremony and the hundreds of local Musters that will take place worldwide, is available at tx.ag/MusterFAQ.
Gifts made to The Association of Former Students help provide many Muster services, allow the daily maintenance of the Worldwide Muster Roll Call, and mail thousands of invitations to Aggies for local Musters. Add your support at tx.ag/give.
The Association of Former Students, established in 1879, is the official alumni organization of Texas A&M University. The Association connects hundreds of thousands of members of the worldwide Aggie Network with each other and the university, and will provide $12.6 million in impact to university scholarships, awards, activities and enrichment for students, faculty, staff and former students in 2018. For more information about The Association, contact Kathryn Greenwade ’88 at KGreenwade88@AggieNetwork.com or visit AggieNetwork.com.