Silver Taps is a poignant ceremony conducted on Tuesday night at 10:15 PM in the month following the death of a current student. During the day flags on campus are flown at half-mast and students can leave letters for the family of the deceased Aggie. All lights on campus are turned off and students quietly assemble along with the family members of the Aggie who has passed. The Albritton Bell Tower plays selected hymns which always include How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace. The Ross Volunteers march to the center of the Academic Plaza and fire rifle volleys in honor of the deceased Aggies. A unique version of Taps, known as Silver Taps, is then played three times. Once in each compass direction but not East. The sun rises in the East and those being honored will never see a sunrise again.
Silver Taps was first performed in 1898 to honor Gen Lawrence Sullivan Ross the former Governor of Texas and past President of Texas A&M College. No other university in the world honors the passing of one of their students in this manner.