Twelve Days Countdown–12/8/2012.

Text by Lynn McDanielrev1

Reveille VIII, Texas A&M’s beloved official mascot, is the subject of day eight in the twelve days countdown. She is the first lady of Aggieland, and, as Cadet General and the only bearer of five diamonds awarded by the U.S. Army, she is the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets.

The first, original “Reveille” was a small black and white dog of unspecific breed that was accidentally hit as a group of cadets came back to A&M from Navasota in January of 1931. They rescued the injured dog and brought her back to school so they could care for her. Her barking response to the bugler’s early morning “Reveille” resulted in her name. She was named the official school mascot at the following football season when she led the band onto the field at halftime. Reveille I was given a formal military funeral when she died on January 18, 1944. She, and all the Reveille mascots who served after her, was buried at the North Entrance to Kyle Field, facing the scoreboard so she could always watch the Aggies outscore their opponents.

For several years, the mascots who followed Reveille I were other dog breeds and did not carry the name “Reveille.” Some of the other mascot names included “Tripod,” “Spot,” and “Ranger.” Reveille II was a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie), which looks similar to a Collie but is a smaller breed. Reveille II was donated by Arthur Weinert (’00) after the student body was unable to raise enough money to buy a new mascot. Sam Netterville was Reveille II’s primary care-giver, and it was he who persuaded the University’s student senate to pass a resolution to allow A Quartermaster Company the honor of providing Reveille’s care. “Miss Rev” went everywhere with Netterville, including classes, beginning the tradition of Reveille being escorted at all times.

rev2Reveille III was the first purebred Rough Collie who served as the A&M mascot. A Rough Collie has a long, flowing coat, whereas a Smooth Collie has a short coat. According to the American Kennel Club website, “… the Collie is both elegant and graceful, appearing to float over the ground as it runs. Loyal and affectionate, the breed is naturally responsive to humans. Marked characteristics include the beautiful coat of the rough variety and the breed’s lean wedge-shaped head. The coat can be rough or smooth and the four accepted colors are sable and white, tri-color, blue merle and white. The best-known Collie is, of course, the famous Lassie” (followed closely, of course, by Miss Rev)!

Reveille IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII (current mascot) all played their part in establishing new traditions at Texas A&M. Their stories were documented in a book by Rusty Burson and Vannessa Burson called, Reveille: First Lady of Texas A&M, which can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.

The sight of Reveille brings excitement to all Texas A&M students, who typically whip out their cameras and ask if they can have their picture taken with the popular mascot. She is frequently the portrait subject of local artists and photographers, proudly representing her school with grace and dignity.rev3

Reveille Art and Portraits
1. Reveille I Portrait
2. Reveille ready for her SEC debut
3. Tech commissions painting of Reveille for new A&M president
4. Benjamin Knox Gallery

Works Cited

American Kennel Club. Website: http://www.akc.org/breeds/collie/index.cfm. Date updated: 2012. Date accessed: December 10, 2012.

Burson, Rusty; Burson, Vanessa (2004), Reveille: First Lady of Texas A&M, College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. Wikipedia. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reveille_%28dog%29. Date accessed: December 10, 2012.

Texas A&M. Website: http://aggietraditions.tamu.edu/symbols/reveille.html. Date accessed: December 10, 2012.

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