Aggies to continue to say 'Goodbye to Texas'

Aggies to continue to say 'Goodbye to Texas'

Published Mar. 29, 2012 4:09 p.m. ET

It doesn't look as though Texas A&M is going to be saying goodbye to the University of Texas anytime soon.

With the looming move to the Southeastern Conference, students at the school have been deciding whether to tinker with things at the tradition-rich school.

One consideration involves the school's fight song, "The Aggie War Hymn." Since the early 1900s Aggies have been repeating a verse that begins with, "Goodbye to Texas University, so long to the orange and the white," which was a reference to the University of Texas.

But with the Aggies no longer aligned with Texas in a conference and the teams having no plans to meet on the football field, there was talk of tinkering with the hymn. In the version currently used, the same verse is repeated twice. Some wanted to have the verse sang only once and replaced with another verse from the original song that isn't used.

It doesn't look like it's going to happen.

"As of right now it looks like students want to keep it the way it is," said Taryn Tipton, chairman of the school's traditions council. "How feasible is it to get alumni to change a song they've sung the one way their entire lives? We just wanted the opportunity to look at things as we move into the SEC."

The school has had student forums to talk about some of the possible changes. Tipton said about two-thirds of the student body want to keep the song the way it is.

If that's the case, that's the way it's going to be. Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, the school's president, said that it will be up to the students to decide about the changes.

"One of the great things about Texas A&M is that our traditions are maintained and perpetuated by our students," said A&M spokesman Jason Cook. "We asked students for their opinion. If you look, we have 30,000 students at home football games and 50,000 across campus. Students run fish camp (for freshmen). President Loftin has essentially put it in the hands of the students."

Although there is consideration about changing the way the song is sung, there is no talk of changing the song and removing references to Texas.

"What they were looking at centered around repeating the same verse twice," Cook said. "One verse doesn't have anything to do with the University of Texas. There were no discussions about changing the song."

The forums, which include the school's student body president and the head yell leader, have raised other possibilities. One included adding a dance team to the sidelines during football games, along with the yell leaders. All student groups are opposed to that idea.