Texas A&M University
Home to more than 42,000 students, Texas A&M University is one of the country’s premier schools for agriculture-related studies (veterinary medicine, geosciences, and landscape architecture in particular). Aggieland is truly a phenomena—the immense school pride manifests itself in ubiquitous “Gig ‘em Aggies” signs and stickers, the omnipresent color of maroon, and “yell practice,” a pep rally event in which the name alone prompts rival students at the University of Texas to guffaw.
Aggies’ attempts to insult UT (referring to the school as t.u. and calling them “tea sippers”) don’t tend to rile up the Longhorns, but the Aggies’ nostalgic sense of being true to their school is rather commendable.
Texas A&M has a proud history dating back to 1871 as the all-male Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. In the 1960s, it opened its doors to women and changed its name to Texas A&M. Until that time, all students were required to undergo military cadet training, and although it became optional afterward, the school still has the largest uniformed cadet corps in the nation (outside the service academies).
More than 2,000 male and female students serve as military cadets each academic year, and their Fightin’ Texas Aggies Band, which performs mesmerizing precision-filled routines at football halftime shows, is the world’s largest military marching band.
Those interested in touring the campus should contact the Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center (located on the first floor of Rudder Tower, 979/845-5851, www.tamu.edu/visit, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat., 1–4 p.m. Sun.).
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition