The First Lady of Aggieland
In 2008, we published an issue about Texas A&M Veterinary College and featured the brand new Reveille VIII on our cover. Five years later, we are revisiting this world-class institution and updating our readers on their latest initiatives and accomplishments. Reveille VIII is still standing proud and graces our cover once again for the September 2013 issue. Be sure to pick up a copy of this Special Issue and enjoy reading this post about the history of Texas A&M’s mascot, “Miss Rev”.
From stealing classroom erasers for mischievous fun to being stolen herself by a University of Texas student and even being a “movie star”, Reveille is an endearing icon representing Texas A&M University. Standing proud as the official mascot, “Reveille” represents the University and the many years of tradition defining this world-class institution. Reveille can be seen around campus and standing ready during Aggie football games.
The first Reveille was a “mutt” that had been struck by a car carrying several students traveling back from a party in Navasota in 1931. The students took the injured dog home with them and smuggled her into the dorm overnight, with the intent to take her to the Vet school in the morning for medical care. The next morning, as a bugler played Reveille, the dog began barking and thus earned the named “Reveille”.
When Reveille began leading the band onto Kyle field during half-time of the football games, she was given the title of official mascot and wore a jacket bearing the A&M colors as she paced the sidelines. Adding to her status, Reveille was given the honorary title of Cadet General by the U.S. Army due to the quantity of officers and soldiers Texas A&M contributed to the US Armed Forces in World War II. Since that time, Reveille has worn the rank of Cadet General (5 diamonds on her “jacket”).
Reveille I died in 1944 and she received a formal military funeral on the fifty yard line in Kyle Field. Buried at the north entrance of the field, she is always facing the scoreboard so she can watch the Aggies outscore their opponent.
Thus a tradition was born. A special cemetery was erected outside the North entrance where all past Reveille’s are buried and each Reveille’s grave is adorned with flowers during football games. Subsequently, an addition to Kyle Field blocked the view of the scoreboard so, in keeping with the tradition, a small scoreboard was placed outside the stadium and named the “Reveille Scoreboard”.
Eight years after the death of Reveille I, the students tried to raise enough money to purchase a new mascot but failed. A former Aggie donated a Shetland Sheepdog and Reveille II “was born”. Since that time, beginning with
Reveille III, all Reveilles have been purebred Collies.
Reveille II was instrumental in shaping much of the traditions associated with her role as mascot (all Reveilles are female). Initially, the Aggie band cared for Reveille, who was an unofficial mascot, from 1952-1954. However, after student band members went home for the summer, Reveille was found wandering around campus alone and A&M students took her in. Someone needed to become a full time caretaker of the Reveille, and eventually that duty fell upon a selected Cadet. Currently, care of Reveille is rotated within the Corps of Cadets each year.
Upon the student’s return for the fall semester, she lived with Sam Netterville who took Reveille everywhere, starting the current tradition of the mascot being escorted at all times and being addressed as “Miss Rev”.
Reveille III, serving from 1966-1975 was the first Reveille to be a pure-bred Collie.
Reveille IV served from 1975 to 1984
Reveille V served as mascot from 1984 to 1993 when she developed health problems. She relinquished her duties to Reveille VI and thus became the first Reveille to be “retired” prior to death. She lived six years until 1999 in the home of a local veterinarian. She died in June but her funeral was delayed until September so the student body could attend.
Reveille VI served from 1993 to 2001 and was stolen for about a week during Winter Break by a University of Texas student. Returned unharmed, she began her duties once again. She also had the distinction of becoming a movie star in the 1996 film “Reveille, My Life as the Aggie Mascot.” She was in attendance with the Aggie football team during their first Big 12 Championship in 1998, and celebrated alongside President George W. Bush at the inaugural ball in Washington, D.C. in 2000. She was retired for health issues in 2001 and died in 2003.
Reveille VII served from 2001 until her recent retirement in 2008. Having been sent to obedience school for some work on her manners, Reveille VII was rambunctious but served her school proudly.
Presenting Reveille VIII
Meet the new Reveille VIII, the wait is over and a beautiful 2 yr-old Collie (formerly named Kelly) has taken on the prestigious role. She was donated by a Collie breeder and she has already began her duties and been introduced to the public at the first football game, August 20, 2008.
Reveille is cared for by Corps of Cadets Company E-2 from which a mascot corporal is chosen each year by a year-long “try-out” process. Reveille VIII’s first mascot corporal was John Busch, and is currently Parker Smith. Read about them in the September issue, coming soon!
More Reveille Facts
- Reveille is considered a cadet general and the highest ranking member in the Corps of Cadets. To designate her rank, Reveille wears 5 diamonds on her maroon-and-white blanket
- Reveille accompanies the mascot corporal everywhere, including to class and on dates.
- So as not to inconvenience her, if Reveille decides to sleep on a cadet’s bed, that cadet is required to sleep on the floor.
- By tradition, if she barks in class, that session is canceled.
- Reveille has her own cell phone, operated by the mascot corporal, and her own student identification card.er. Five years later, we are revisiting this world-class institution and updating our readers on their latest initiatives and accomplishments. Reveille VIII is still standing proud and graces our cover once again for the September 2013 issue. Be sure to pick up a copy of this Special Issue and enjoy reading this post about the history of Texas A&M’s mascot, “Miss Rev”.
Photos by Evin Thayer at Kyle Field, August 2013.