Laying the flames to rest

Texans honoring Texans at the annual Silver Taps ceremony

Tarleton State University students may remember the day they lit their flame and their love for Tarleton during Convocation in Transition Week. This ceremony signifies the new adventure a Texan is prepared to embark on during their time at Tarleton.  

During Founder’s Week, the university hosts  an event commonly known as  Silver Taps. The Silver Taps Ceremony honors faculty, staff, students, and others associated with Tarleton who have passed away in the last year. The ceremony was once held during the week of Homecoming celebrations, but was moved to the spring semester in 2005 in order to help  the program become better recognized. There is no other school system outside of the A&M system that honors their students and alumni in this way. 

The ceremony, held by the Tarleton Ambassadors, student body, ROTC, and Alumni Association, includes a final roll call and candle lighting followed by the laying of a wreath of flowers by the university president, Dr. James Hurley, former Alumni Association President, Renae Lane, and Student Body President, Walker Kirk, at the John Tarleton statue located on alumni island on campus. 

Volunteers are encouraged to participate by carrying the former students’ candles one last time and laying their flames to rest. After all flames are lit and have been carried to the statue, the playing of Taps and a 21 gun salute  is held to end the ceremony. 

On April 19, 2022, 392 members of the Tarleton family were honored at this ceremony. 

“To the friends and families of the loved ones we honor tonight, just know the gates are always open,” President Dr. Hurley stated.