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Gladys “Duggan” Koontz | Class of ’77

October 9, 2012 in Tell Us Your Story

One of my fondest memories as a student at TAMU College Station was being one of the four student co-founders of the Texas A&M Emergency Care Team. I was a Physical Education major and about the 2nd or 3rd time either Laura Kitsmiller or Dr. Mickey Little stopped me in the hall and asked me to organize students to provide first aid at a student event — they never had a list of interested students to call — I suggested we set up a team of students that shared an interest in pre-hospital care. Three other male students and I wrote up the original by-laws, Laura Kitsmiller was our faculty advisor, and Dr. Goswick from Student Health was our medical director. We were the original officers of the club. We divided into several different teams so one person did not have to attend a multi-day event every day – we tried to ensure the Team did not to interfere with our studies. To see what TAMECT has become since those first days in 1976 is amazing! I am proud to be an originator of this wonderful campus organization devoted to service.

Katherine Blachly | Class of ’98

October 8, 2012 in Tell Us Your Story

Recently I was at a meeting and was asked, “What was your most memorable time at A&M as a student”? I immediately started thinking about all of the fun I had in college and the events. But, I decided to tell my Aggie ring story because to me, the Aggie Ring is the one of the most visible symbols of the Aggie Spirit. The Aggie Ring has so many meanings to me and my family. I come from four generations of Aggies and have bled maroon since the day I was born.

The day I received my Aggie Ring (Aprl1 16, 1998), my then-boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me. TWO RINGS in one day! I was so overwhelmed. So, the phone calls all happened again to tell everyone the exciting news. My sister and brother-in-law made my ring even more special to me because they purchased the diamond in my ring in honor of my graduation.

Now at that time in 1998 in my family, my dad, my sister and my brother-in-law all had Aggie rings. My husband did not have his Aggie ring when he crossed the stage at graduation from A&M because he didn’t have enough hours due to transferring from another school. He wore my dad’s ring. What makes that special is my dad’s ring never crossed the stage at A&M because he was already on his way to OCS for Vietnam when his ceremony occurred. So, a very special day for my dad and my husband.

Side note regarding my father’s ring. He was in the class that voted to admit women into A&M (thank God he was progressive!). So, when the time came to purchase his ring, he had the choice of it saying Texas A&M University or Texas A&M College. Because university was new, he chose that. Years later, he lost the ring when he went fishing. So, one Father’s Day, my family gave him his “new” Aggie ring. But, this time, we changed it to college!

Fast forward a few years. We found out my mom, who is just about the most avid non-Aggie-graduate fan there is, could have a Sweetheart Ring. Since my mom could not attend A&M due to the no women rule, she graduated from TWU instead (her family is my first and second generations in my line of fourth generation Aggies). So, without her knowing, we ordered her an Aggie Sweetheart Ring.

Unbeknownst to my mom, we all had gathered at the infamous Sully statue on campus after a football game. Prior to her getting there, a Corps outfit was meeting to do a saber arch under the Century Tree for a buddy who was proposing at that time. We asked them if they wouldn’t mind sticking around after the proposal and doing the arch for my mom. They thought it was such a cool deal that the guy proposing actually put his proposal on HOLD until after my mom got her ring.

So, my mom walks up and sees us all there and sees the saber arch. Because this happened so quickly, she didn’t have time to comprehend what was occurring! She had no idea why she was walking under a saber arch with my dad waiting on the other side, but she went anyway and was even m ore surprised when my dad gave her the ring.

So, now my family has 6 Aggie rings plus a Tarleton University ring (which in our opinion is just as good as an Aggie ring). We all wear our rings with pride. My ring travels the world with me and yes, I’ve met Aggies in the most unusual places because of it.

For Father’s Day this year, my husband recreated a photo he saw on in the Texas Aggie. The photo is included with the story. It is my father’s hands with all of the Aggie rings in my family, plus my brother’s Tarleton ring.

As the famous saying in Aggieland goes, “From the outside looking in, you don’t understand it, and from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it, it is the Aggie Spirit.” Gig ’em!

Lynn Purnell Hagan | Class of ’77

July 25, 2012 in Tell Us Your Story

In the mid 1970s, living on campus was an adventure.  When I began in 1973, we in KFH were the first women to live on the northside.  I remember fondly panty raids and quadings that happened in our shared courtyard.  As a freshman, I was dating a young man in N-1 in the Corps.  Nightly, he would ride his motorcycle into the KFH quad and rev the engine until I would come out onto the balcony.  I was always sure that my neighbors enjoyed his serenade!

As we were the first women to live in KFH, the prior residents left us a variety of “personal” items.  Upon moving in, I found a very large pair of jockey shorts left behind.  On the first panty raid we had, I pulled out those briefs and tossed them down to an unsuspecting male participant.  He took the “panties” and ran.  I would give anything to know his reaction upon finding that one of the “Aggie Co-eds” had tossed him a pair of size XXXL jockeys – but I will just have to let my imagination run wild.

Taresa M. Mikle | Class of ’98

June 10, 2012 in Tell Us Your Story

Although the definition of WHAT it means to be an Aggie has never changed, WHO represents an Aggie definitely has! I am proud to say that I represent a more contemporary version of the Aggie – one that was not always represented at Texas A&M University. As a female and African American, I do not take for granted that before 1964, someone, like myself, would not have had the opportunity to pursue the A&M experience that I did.

As I reflect back on my undergraduate and graduate experiences at Texas A&M, what I appreciate most – in addition to my world-class education – is the colorful array of Aggies that have crossed my path during my time on campus. They’ve represented a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and family upbringings. They came from small towns and large cities. Some grew up in Texas and others came from halfway around the world to attend our great university! Some were born into families with a long lineage of A&M graduates. Others were the first in their families to receive an education, let alone attend A&M.

For me, this was my “other education” – being introduced to and making friends with so many people who were so vastly different from me. I am thankful that Texas A&M gave me this opportunity. I am even more proud that our University continues to make positive strides towards ensuring that ALL types of individuals are represented at Texas A&M.  Because of these experiences, I learned to appreciate, accept, celebrate and embrace all of the differences that make us individual people. At the same time, I realized that by virtue of our experience at A&M, we were more alike than different. We were all Aggies!