Named for P.L. “Pinkie” Downs, class of 1906, Downs Natatorium was an indoor swimming pool. It was part of DeWare Field House, located north west of Kyle Field. The natatorium was home to A&M’s swimming and diving teams for more than 60 years, until the Student Recreation Center and Natatorium was built in 1995.
Downs was a member of the Board of Directors from 1923 to 1932 and was influential in procuring funds for the building. Downs was commonly called “Mr. A&M” for his passion about everything Aggie and having to do with Texas A&M.
He is credited with creating the “Gig ‘em” hand signal for Aggies in 1930, when speaking at Midnight Yell before a game against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.
In his later years, Downs was the “official campus greeter” of A&M during the 1950s until his death in 1967. He could usually be found at the Memorial Student Center. The natatorium and DeWare Field House were demolished in 1997 to make room for the expansion of Kyle Field and construction of The Zone.
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