I went to a college with no school spirit.
It was a regional state college with a mediocre sports team and a reputation for being a “party school.” I commuted 45 minutes every day, only went there for my junior and senior years after transferring from a local community college, and most of my friends went to other schools in my area. But it had a good advertising program and was close to home — so it made sense for me.
My husband; however, had a very different college experience. He went to one of Texas’ largest schools — a university with more pride and tradition than any other I’ve heard of: Texas A&M.
He lived on campus. Went to every football game. Tailgated every year. Joined clubs. Made lifelong Aggie friends. Sat in the stadium of thousands of students wearing red, white & blue after 9/11. And still — 10 years later — his school is a big part of our family culture.
And though I loved my college experience — my memories have less to do with my school and more to do with waiting tables or hanging out at the mall on Friday afternoons.
And so — by marriage — I am now an Aggie (much to may parents’ dismay who both went to the rival college, the University of Texas). I know the Aggie War Hymn. I link arms and sway and sing it at football games. And though I sometimes feel like a poser, I wear maroon shirts and have taught my toddler to “Gig ‘Em!”
Twelve years ago today, twelve Aggies died participating in one of Texas A&M’s most inspiring traditions: the Aggie Bonfire. And in that tragic moment, the world realized why Aggieland was a truly special place. And why they take the term “school spirit” to a whole new level.