Scot Walker '90 April 18, 2020 1:04 PM updated: April 19, 2022 4:59 PM
Aggie Muster is an annual celebration during which the current and former students of Texas A&M University share fellowship and remember fellow Aggies who have passed away in the past year.
Aggie Muster is not a single event but hundreds of separate events that take place around the world. These events take many different forms, reflecting the communities in which they occur and the Aggies who organize them. There is no required format to which local organizers must adhere. Muster events may include keynote speakers, candle-lighting ceremonies, songs, poems or prayers. Many events include a meal or libations.
A tradition that is common to nearly all modern Aggie Musters is the roll call, in which the names of Aggies who have passed away since the last Muster are read aloud and one or more comrades answer "Here," signifying that although this Aggie has been taken from life, he or she remains present in the hearts of other Aggies.
The roll of Aggies called at each local Muster is specific to that event, primarily comprising the names of Aggies who lived in that community or who were loved ones of Aggies in that community. The only event that calls the entire annual roll of more than 1,500 names is the Worldwide Roll Call for the Absent, which is normally streamed live from the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center on campus.
The largest Aggie Muster takes place on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, where more than 12,000 people typically Muster each year. Learn more about that student-organized Muster and activities associated with it at muster.tamu.edu.
The most famous Aggie Musters occurred on the Philippine island of Corregidor in 1942 and 1946. Learn more about those Musters at AggieNetwork.com/corregidor.
Muster is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the university and of the state of Texas itself. Modern Musters are usually held on or around April 21, which is also San Jacinto Day in Texas. Aggies have been gathering on San Jacinto Day since the 1890s.
The Association of Former Students coined the name Muster and gave the tradition its modern form in the 1940s under the leadership of E.E. McQuillen, Class of 1920, who was the leader of The Association at that time.