Founding Tarleton

The History of Founder’s Week

Founder’s week is being held this year from Apr. 19- Apr. 23. Originally started in 1921 as Tarleton Parent’s Day, Founder’s week holds some of the oldest traditions in Tarleton history. From May Fete to Silver Taps there are plenty of opportunities to participate in the nearly century old traditions that we hold dear on this campus. 

Starting on Apr. 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Alumni Island is Silver Taps. Origins come from our sister school Texas A&M and started in 1898. The purpose of Silver Taps is to honor alumni and current students that have passed in the previous year. This solemn tradition is performed first by the Prayer of Remembrance followed by the Founders song. Then, the first flame will be escorted by the Corp of Cadets alongside the Tarleton color song. Finally, the playing of Taps and a 21- gun salute. In the original Aggie Silver Taps ceremony, it was said that the guns fired to the north, south, and west, but never east, because the sun will never rise on the fallen Aggie again. This tradition is one of honor, grace, and grief, but helps us to remember those that came before and paved the way forward. 

Grassburr Fest will be held Apr. 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Heritage Park. This event is where you can pick up your free yearbook. The yearbook is free due to a student movement passed in Fall 2006 which voted to preserve the Grassburr as well as fund a new program that helped make the yearbooks free for everyone for the foreseeable future. The Grassburr is Tarleton’s official yearbook and has been in publication since 1916, and pays tribute to all we have accomplished through the year and years prior. It also happens to include prior student organizations that were on campus many years ago like the Janitor’s club and the silver key club. Be sure to stop by on Apr. 20 and participate in all the fun!

Thursday Apr. 21 will have not one but two events! First is Oscar P’s birthday bash at 12:00 p.m. in the Barry B. Thompson Student Center which is completely free for anyone to attend. The event will have a DJ and cupcakes for all. The second long-awaited event is at 5:00 p.m. at the Campus Recreation center. The anticipated reveal of the brand-new aquatics center. While these events are less historical than the Grassburr and Silver Taps, they are still a great part of our Founder’s week this year,

Finally, on Friday Apr. 22 is May Fete. This is perhaps the most beloved spring tradition of Tarleton’s founders week. In 1921, it originally started as a pageant as a part of Parent’s Day, since then, it has kept it’s same historical sheen and significance as a part of our present-day Founder’s week. This fun and often colorful festivity consists of females dressed up who compete for the title of May Queen and often do a dance around something called a maypole. In today’s festivities we hold the pageant-like event and at the end, they announce the new Lord and Lady Tarleton who are chosen by a panel of judges during the event. Lord and Lady Tarleton can be either juniors or seniors and are questioned on Tarleton’s History and its many traditions. As well asked questions about themselves and their personal values. After the announcement of the new lord and lady, guests are invited to help the competitors wrap the tree with streamers.

There are plenty of ways to get involved and see more of your favorite Tarleton traditions this spring semester, so be sure to go to silver taps, get your Grassburr, and watch may fete!

For more information about various Tarleton traditions visit