Tarleton State University observes its annual Silver Taps ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to remember and honor members of the school family who have passed away during the previous year.
Part of Tarleton Founder’s Week, this year’s ceremony incorporates several changes and takes place in a new location, moving from the Hunewell Bandstand in Heritage Park to Alumni Island in the heart of campus at the plaza surrounding the John Tarleton statue. The public is invited to attend as the university family remembers deceased alumni, faculty, staff and friends.
The ceremony’s new location provides a unique opportunity to culminate Founder’s Week in a setting that highlights the connection of every member of the Tarleton family with the university’s founder.
Also new to the ceremony this year is special recognition to honor current students and faculty who have died during the past school year. Vacant chairs, draped in Tarleton purple, will be set near the bronze statue to symbolize their absence.
Comments of reflection from an alumnus as a member of the Tarleton family will accompany remarks of remembrance by Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio.
Following the remarks, a ROTC cadet escort will bring the symbolic Tarleton flame to Alumni Island, where students will assemble in a circle around the John Tarleton statue, representing a link to the Tarleton family that will never be broken. A cadet will use the eternal flame to light the first candle, initiating the roll call to light candles in recognition of those who’ve died.
After the last candle is lit, a cadet will lead a prayer of remembrance and then the university president, Tarleton Alumni Association president, student body president and Corps of Cadets commander will lay a wreath at the base of the statue. As the wreath is placed, a cadet will recite the Founder’s Song written in 1902 by Lillie Pearl Chamberlin.
Following the wreath laying, cadets will escort the flame from the statue to the military memorial in Heritage Park. As the flame is carried to the memorial, the Tarleton Color Song will play, followed by a moment of silence for all to reminisce about the evening’s honorees. From the military memorial, a cadet standing adjacent to the symbolic Tarleton flame, will render a salute, followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps as a tribute to the Tarleton military veterans.
The ceremony concludes with all candles and flames being extinguished. At Tarleton, students begin their official academic program with the Freshman Convocation and Candle Lighting Ceremony when they receive their Tarleton flame. The flame, which lights future endeavors and achievements, is extinguished at Silver Taps to acknowledge their journey’s completion.
Volunteers who would like to participate in the ceremony by holding a candle in memory of a member of the Tarleton family may sign up online at: http://tarleton.edu/AERWEB/silvertaps/volunteer.html. Volunteers need to report to the Alumni Island by 6:45 p.m. for rehearsal.
For more information about this year’s Silver Taps Ceremony, contact Tarleton’s Office of Community Relations at 254-968-9330 or email Sue Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org.