STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton State University’s annual Silver Taps ceremony was scheduled for April 16. 

The formal event, held each spring, honors faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who died the previous year. It is a cooperative effort of the Texan Corps of Cadets, Tarleton Ambassadors, Division of Institutional Advancement and Tarleton Alumni Association. 

In a typical year, the roll call and candle lighting ceremony includes the reading of names, prayers, a processional, “Taps” and a 21-gun salute. 

This year, however, is not typical. 

For the first time since the ceremony was reinstated in 1989, it has been canceled. 

Instead, a video similar to those produced for previous ceremonies will be created to scroll the 304 names. A video link will be mailed to next of kin and emailed to faculty, staff and students and will be available on the Tarleton web page. 

“In light of a rapidly changing pandemic landscape, it is not possible for us to gather on campus to honor deceased members of the Tarleton State University family,” said Tarleton Community Relations Officer Sue Goodman. “We want to respect and recognize the 2020 honorees by adapting the ceremony to a virtual platform.” 

Silver Taps is one of Tarleton’s most beloved traditions, said university President James Hurley, but the current environment “makes it necessary for us to change the way we recognize those members of the Tarleton family we have lost.” 

To access the video, visit