Campus Life

Silver Taps Will Honor Nine Deceased Texas A&M Students Tuesday

September 29, 2017


By Keith Randall, Texas A&M Marketing and Communications

Silver Taps will be held at Texas A&M University Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 p.m. to honor the memory of two Aggies who died recently.

Being honored are Nikhil Bhatia, a graduate student in biological and agricultural engineering, and Shalini Singh, a graduate student in epidemiology. Both died of drowning.

Due to the cancellation of the September Silver Taps Ceremony, the following students will also be honored:

  • Candace Renee Benefiel – English
  • Brian Edward Bullock – Ocean Engineering
  • Sarah Elizabeth Flanagan – Chemical Engineering
  • Benjamin Langston Hopper – Molecular & Cell Biology
  • Sapphire Marie Jones – Psychology
  • Caroline St. Clair Killian – Marketing
  • Mahmoud Yakub Ma’Aruf – EPI & Environmental Health

The first Silver Taps was held in 1898 upon the death of the university’s president, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, and it has changed little from that time.

On the day of the ceremony, all campus flags are flown at half-staff and a list of the names of those to be remembered is posted at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to write a short letter or note to the families of those being honored and place the notes in boxes located at the Academic Plaza and West Campus Library, as well as the tables on the Quad and in front of the Koldus Building. The family of each student to be honored is notified of the ceremony and sent a floral arrangement by university officials.

In honor of these students, the campus will be darkened at 10:20 p.m. In the darkness, students, family and friends will silently gather in the plaza in front of the Academic Building. At 10:30 p.m., an honor guard from the Ross Volunteer Company will march across campus from the Corps of Cadets area to the plaza, where its members will fire three rifle volleys to honor the memory of these students. Buglers from the Aggie Band, unseen in the darkness, will play a special arrangement of “Taps.” The tolling of the Albritton Tower bells will signal the end of the ceremony.

Free parking in the University Center Garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. For more information, go to In the case of severe weather, Silver Taps will be held in an alternate location.

For additional assistance, contact Student Assistance Services at (979) 845-3113.


Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information, at (979) 845-4644 or

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