We were so focused on the all-dog men’s final in NCAA basketball (UConn Huskies versus Butler Bulldogs), we overlooked a canine presence in the women’s final on Tuesday night. The 2011 Women’s Champion Texas A&M University Aggies are represented by a seemingly counterintuitive canine mascot, a Rough Collie named Reveille.
The tradition dates back to 1931, when a group of A&M cadets accidentally hit a small black and white stray. They brought her back to school to care for her. The next morning, when a bugler performed the morning wakeup call of “Reveille,” she started barking and earned her name. She recovered from her injuries, and the next season she became the school mascot, leading the band onto the field for its half-time performance during football games. She served for more than a decade, and after her death in 1944, was given a formal military funeral on the gridiron, according to Texas A&M’s website.
The most current Reveille is Reveille VIII, and she was officially introduced on August 30, 2008. She is revered. Cadets are expected to address her as “Miss Rev, m’am.” If she is in class and barks while the professor is teaching, the class is to be immediately dismissed, also according to A&M tradition.
A love of dogs seems to run deep for the team. Here’s how the coach, Gary Blair, framed the victory, according to The New York Times: “He talked about how much this championship meant to his family, to the families of his assistant coaches, to the pets of another assistant who has no family but does have dogs.” I wish I read that sort of thing all the time.
Go Aggies! Go Reveille!