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RVs, Texas A&M; U. band to attend Bush's inauguration
By Sara Foley
The Battalion (Texas A&M; U.)

(U-WIRE) COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Members of the Ross Volunteers Honor Corps organization and the Aggie Band will represent Texas A&M; Thursday at President George W. Bush's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Both groups will march in the inaugural parade after Bush is sworn into his second term. The Ross Volunteers will also serve as escorts and perform saber arches for dignitaries at the Texas GOP Black Tie and Boots Ball Wednesday night.

Jordan Stapley a senior finance major and public relations officer for the Ross Volunteers, said the Ross Volunteers are the official honor guard for the Texas governor, which is why they were invited to participate in ceremonies initially in 2001 when Bush was elected president after serving as Texas governor.

"We are all extremely honored to be able to be there," he said. "It means a lot more knowing that we served Bush while he was governor."

Aggie Band director Timothy Rhea said the Aggie Band was chosen to march in the parade after submitting applications which included videos of performances. The band also marched in the Bush inauguration in 2001 and the Former President George H.W. Bush's inauguration in 1989.

David Moran, a senior history major and the combined band commander, said the time the band spent waiting to hear whether or not they were invited was nerve-racking.

"There was a day that we were supposed to hear (if we were going to go) by, and that day came and went," he said. "After a few days we were getting a little nervous, but finally we did get the news and we were all excited."

The Ross Volunteers left today for Washington, D.C., and the band will leave early tomorrow morning, causing the students to miss the first week of spring semester classes.

"We've encouraged everyone to get a hold of their professors beforehand, and all of them have been very understanding, because they know that we are representing the University," Moran said.

Rhea said that the students will visit the Smithsonian and various monuments, and they will get a private tour of the Capitol led by U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards.

The trip's expenses, which include airfare and hotel rooms for 135 Ross Volunteers and the 300 Aggie Band members, were financed through a combination of gifts and non-appropriated funds, said deputy director of University Relations, Lane Stephenson.

Copyright ©2005 The Battalion via UWire

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