When the Fightin’ Texas Aggies take the football field next fall, a familiar face will be cheering from the sidelines. Lake Highlands neighbor Mason Graham was elected Senior Yell Leader at Texas A&M University in student elections Friday.
Mason, whose entire family bleeds maroon, was joined for the post-election celebration in College Station by mom Sarah Gross Graham (LHHS 1993, Texas A&M 1997), dad Kyle (LHHS 1993, Texas A&M 1997) and uncle Kevin Graham, who was elected Yell Leader in 2001. Rick Graham, Mason’s grandfather, is also an Aggie.
“The function of a Yell Leader is to represent the University in a variety of ways from football games and many other sporting events to Aggie Mom’s Club to Fish Camp and everything in between,” Mason explained to this T-Sip. “By the end of the year, I will have attended between 330 and 360 events on behalf of Texas A&M.”
“Yell Leaders carry on many university traditions such as Midnight Yell and Bonfire Remembrance, as well as appearing at most University functions. They are the people in our University who care about being an Aggie more than anyone else,” continued Mason. “I see this as an opportunity to serve and give back through every event and appearance that I make.”
Mason attended Covenant School in Dallas, where he played football, baseball and soccer and was president of the student council. He considers it an honor to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.
“The further connection this has created to my uncle is very special,” said Mason. “I am excited for the experiences ahead and the shared connection that we will have through the position. I am thankful for Kevin and his wisdom and advice that he has coming before me.”
Lake Highlands has produced other Yell Leaders in the past, including LHHS 2013 graduate Chris Wilder, who shared the history of the organization – more than a century old.
“In 1907, when Texas A&M University was an all-male military college known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, the cadets typically invited dates to attend the football games in College Station. As the legend goes, the Aggies were being severely out-scored and the cadets’ lovely dates were not impressed and even threatened to leave the game. The upperclassmen called upon several freshmen, or ‘fish,’ to think on their feet and find a way to entertain their dates. These freshmen ran into a janitor’s closet and borrowed their white coveralls and began leading yells in front of the stands. The freshmen got the attention of the upperclassmen’s dates, and the upperclassmen couldn’t allow this to continue. It was then decided that only upperclassmen would be allowed to hold such positions.”