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Praise for the Rural Student Success Initiative

“The Rural Student Success Initiative is fantastic to see! I grew up in Hardin County, closely positioned to the East Texas counties that are included in the program’s cohort. I can appreciate the impact that this initiative will have on high school students. Well done!”

Reagan Chessher ’96
College Station, Texas

New Ship, New Opportunities

“The new Lone Star State ship for Texas A&M University at Galveston is truly a great opportunity to support the growing maritime industry and expand education for students in the maritime field.”

Ray Gutierrez
Houston, Texas
Telegram sent by J. Wayne Stark, advisor of the MSC Town Hall Committee, canceling Johnny Cash's 1965 performance at G. Rollie White Coliseum after Cash was arrested for drug possession.

Advances in Aggieland

“Loved seeing the new facilities planned for the university. Texas A&M should keep growing and updating!”

Justin Bohanan ’18
The Colony, Texas

Aggieland Tour Stop

“When I attended Texas A&M in the 1950s, we had great concerts by the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, The Kingston Trio, the San Antonio Symphony and many other big names. It was a great opportunity for this country boy! The ’50s were the best of times.

Don Dixon ’57
Terrell Hills, Texas

Notable Omissions

The summer 2021 issue’s Time Capsule article was nice, but a few shows were missed. I don’t remember the exact years, but they were all in G. Rollie White Coliseum between 1978 and 1982: Pure Prairie League with Vince Gill, The Beach Boys, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Pablo Cruise, and Leon and Mary Russell, among others. I also believe The Pretenders played there after I graduated. Thanks again for the article!

Richard Stafford ’82
Houston, Texas
A down-to-earth Garth Brooks impressed Aggies on and off the stage. (Photo courtesy of The Eagle)

Garth’s Good Bull

I enjoyed the article in the summer 2021 issue regarding concerts in Aggieland. When I was a fish in 1989, Garth Brooks came to play at G. Rollie White Coliseum. I didn’t see him then, but one of my buddies did, and he was impressed that Garth sat on a cooler outside his tour bus and signed autographs until he had seen the last person in line. My buddy said the session easily went two hours after the concert ended.

That same year, I saw the Indigo Girls play in the old DeWare Field House adjacent to G. Rollie. There weren’t any seats, so we just stood on the gym floor while they played on stage. We had to navigate large buckets on the floor that had been placed to catch leaking rainwater from the day’s rainstorms! That field house was demolished after my time at Texas A&M, but it was a memorable concert experience.

Brad Hickerson ’93
Dallas, Texas

Go Johnny Go

During the 1960s when I attended Texas A&M, Johnny Mathis was an MSC Town Hall entertainer one year. At some point during the show, the electricity went out—no lights and no microphone. After about a 10-minute wait, Mr. Mathis announced that if we were willing to give it a try, he would sing without the mic or accompanying musicians. He went on to perform several songs before the electricity came back on. Needless to say, to hear Mr. Mathis in the old Jolly Rollie Coliseum, we had to be absolutely quiet…and we were. I always thought it took a lot of confidence and musical guts on his behalf to switch to a solo a cappella performance. It was great!

Richard Keen ’69
Harrisburg, North Carolina

When the Lights Go Down in G. Rollie

During my years at Texas A&M, I witnessed many unbelievable concerts. One of the most memorable, however, was Johnny Mathis. Let me say, I wasn’t a big Mathis fan at that point, but I liked some of his music. When he came on stage, the lights all over campus went out. He could have said he couldn’t go on, but he didn’t. He asked for a flashlight (it was pitch black in Jolly Rollie) and for approximately 45 minutes, he sang in the dark with only a flashlight, no amplification and no backup music. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. Been a fan ever since!

Clifton Smith '70
Corsicana, Texas

No Common Stooge

Great Time Capsule article in the summer 2021 issue! I sat in the center fifth row for the Iggy Pop show in 1987. While his lewd theatrics drew gasps from some in the crowd, my friends and I just laughed. And if my memory serves me right, he opened for The Pretenders. It was a great show!

Michael Doiron ’88
Milton, Massachusetts

We always enjoy receiving readers' reactions to Spirit. If you'd like to submit a letter, please contact our editor, Dunae Reader '15, at the bottom of this page.

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  • Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor
  • Call: 979.321.6343

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