September 2022

A Montanan Learns the Aggie Traditions teaser image

A Montanan Learns the Aggie Traditions

Lindsay Martinez

I’m an out-of-state graduate student. 

I’m originally from Montana, and I went to college at Princeton University in New Jersey. Growing up, my experiences with the south included a few visits to family in Florida and Arizona, but no states in between. Prior to first coming to Texas in fall of 2020, my familiarity with Texas A&M probably only went about as far as knowing about Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy year with the Aggie football team in 2012. I had no idea about the Corps of Cadets, Midnight Yell, the Aggie Code of Honor, “Gig ‘em,” or “Howdy.” 

And I certainly didn’t know about Aggie rings.

I’ve lived and worked in Texas for about the last two years now. I first came to Texas for an internship in wildlife research and management on ranches in South Texas. From there, I worked as a Texas A&M-Kingsville biology field technician for a few months. Both experiences led me to my graduate program at Texas A&M. During my time in Texas, I’ve learned to recognize an Aggie grad when I see them through that signature gold jewel on the fourth finger of the right hand. I’ve seen Aggie rings in the field, at the movie theater, and on the fingers of professional presenters. When I see that ring, I know that I have something in common with the wearer. I recognize that I am part of a vast community of Aggies across Texas and probably around the country and the world, too.

Throughout my first year as an Aggie, I sometimes felt a little bit like an outsider compared to the native Texans or even the graduate students who already have Texas A&M college degrees (of which it seems there are many). However, when I’m out in the state and see those Aggie rings, it is great to see someone with whom I can connect. It helps me feel like a member of the Texas A&M community. 

I have always identified strongly as a Montanan and a Princetonian. I am glad to be adding Aggie to my description of myself.

During my brief time here, I have loved getting to learn about the community spirit of the Aggies. I love feeling like I am a part of this team of spirited and passionate people who take pride in the university. One highlight of my Texas A&M experience so far was attending a football game last season, where I saw Aggies young and old coming together and cheering for the school. I love sports and the types of environments they can create, so I highly appreciate the school spirit that comes with Aggie athletics.

Nowadays, I’m on the lookout for an Aggie ring when I’m at events or even just hopping on a plane ride that is taking me back to Texas. I’ve learned from Texas natives how important of a tradition the Aggie ring is, and I I’ve even received plenty of emails informing me about how to order my own…when the time comes.

About the Author

image of author Lindsay Martinez

Lindsay Martinez

Lindsay Martinez is a second-year master's student at the department of Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Growing up on the outdoors of Great Falls, Montana, her research today focuses on wildlife and conservation, with a current specialization on the conservation of the Ocelot in South Texas. Beyond being an animal lover and outdoors person, Martinez is an avid sports fan, and enjoys the Aggie sports culture.

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