What to Do Before Texas A&M Graduation
Before your graduate walks the stage at Reed Arena, be sure to allow for time to look back. After all, while commencement ceremonies do celebrate new beginnings, all former students know it’s just as important to look back on that first beginning, the one that got your graduate to that seat with a gown draped across their back and a mortarboard sat high atop their head.
That beginning is the day they first set foot in College Station, or maybe even the day they decided to become an Aggie. Because at that time, they most likely looked into the future and wondered if life in College Station, and at Texas A&M University, could possibly be as magical and memorable as they hoped it would be. Now they know that it is. And in this case, knowing how one-of-a-kind College Station turned out to be, only makes it harder to leave.
Take it from a hotel full of former students: it’s hard to say goodbye to Aggieland (even if what you’re really saying is “see you later.”) So before their cap hits the ground and the class ring slides on their finger, walk with your Aggie across campus and down memory lane. After this day, you never know how long it’ll take them to find their way back home.
Visit Kyle Field
The epicenter of legendary Aggie Gamedays, Kyle Field is a sight familiar to all, and therefore a sight most Aggie graduates will miss. After all, you can scarcely cross campus without noticing the brown brick field looming above the students, buildings, and fields that populate Aggieland. Ever wonder how much Aggies really love Kyle Field? Consider the fact that we built a hotel right across the street that personifies Aggie spirit itself, and you have your answer.
At Kyle Field, your Aggie exchanged “Whoops” and “Gig ‘Ems” and thumbs ups and countless other cheers with Aggie fans, students, and former students alike--not to mention the many Midnight Yells. Be sure to arrive at the field via the iconic Military Walk, where your student undoubtedly witnessed the Corp of Cadets march to an accompaniment by the Aggie Band.
Snap a Photo at the Ring Statue
Head to the side of Kyle Field opposite our hotel and you’ll find the Aggie Ring statue, a larger-than-life-sized ring modeled after the one your own Aggie will soon wear. The statue is as detailed as the rings themselves as well as being large enough to walk through, allowing you to get up close and personal with the symbolism that makes them a beloved milestone for all former Aggies.
Take a peek at the shield, representative of every Aggie’s contribution to Texas A&M’s reputation of goodwill and selfless service.Look for the seal of Texas, a five-pointed star encircled by olive laurel leaves as a nod to both achievement and peace, as well as live oak leaves that serve as a reminder of strength and tenacity. As a Texas A&M graduate, your Aggie now, too, exemplifies these characteristics, which is why all former Aggies proudly wear the ring--and make a point to snap a picture with the statue.
Cheers at the Dixie Chicken
This iconic College Station joint may not appear on a campus map, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a landmark. According to The Dixie Chicken itself, the bar pours more beer per square foot of bar than any other watering hole in the United States. Look beyond the honky-tonk exterior to take a peek at its truly Texan interior, featuring photos of Bonfires past and an endless stream of country tunes.
Open since 1974, the Dixie Chicken is still a favorite hangout for Texas A&M students and former students alike, meaning your graduate will want to enjoy one last beer here. Make your visit that much more memorable by bringing a beer bottle cap or two to leave in the famed Bottle Cap Alley that sits between the Dixie Chicken and its sister establishment, Dry Bean Saloon.
Shop at Aggieland Outfitters
Short of the ring and the memories, the best way for your graduate to bring Aggieland with them is to stock up on Aggie gear. Us fellow former students know that you can never have enough maroon and white, which is why a stop at Aggieland Outfitters is next to a rite of passage for those leaving College Station.
Following TAMU graduation, head to Aggieland Outfitters to stock up on all the apparel your grad will ever need--for now. Even better? It’s situated under a mile from our hotel, just beyond Kyle Field.
Beyond the places, give your student time to look back on all the things that make Texas A&M University so unique. They’ll remember walking beneath the Century Tree on their way to class, or placing pennies on the Sul Ross statue before a tricky midterm. They’ll look back on their long-awaited Elephant Walk and Ring Day, and even that time they snagged a lucky photo op with Reveille. And they’ll cherish all the “Howdy’s” and “Gig ‘Em’s” and thumbs ups that lend themselves to creating a community unlike any other in the SEC and beyond.
From a group of former Aggies to your own soon-to-be-graduate: wherever they go, they can always make their way back home. When they do, we’ll be here with a “Howdy” and a thumbs up and a front row seat to everything they need to truly re-experience Aggieland. That’s why, for an Aggie, TAMU graduation is not goodbye; it's see you later.