A long-standing tradition at Texas A&M, Ring Day is a memorable day for many Aggies. Despite the current environment, The Association of Former Students is ensuring that students are able to experience Ring Day, even if it looks different this year.
This past spring, the format of Ring Day was changed due to COVID-19 and many received their ring via mail. With students back on campus, Ring Day will look more like the traditional ceremony, just with a few revisions.
Vice President of The Association of Former Students and Class of 1988 Kathryn Greenwade, said reimagining Ring Day so it could safely proceed this September took some creativity. One of the biggest changes to Ring Day this fall is that it will take place over the span of a week.
“The most significant changes to ring delivery plans for September are necessitated by COVID-19,” Greenwade said. “Rather than a single day experience, we are expanding to a week-long event that will allow recipients to pick up their rings in person, while also adhering to current limits for indoor activities. The one thing that is not changing is the significance of earning an Aggie Ring.”
Greenwade said the process of receiving a ring has been modified and will be implemented for the upcoming September Ring Day. The recipient will be able to physically enter the alumni center, however they will be the only individual allowed inside in order to maintain health and safety standards. Additionally, the alumni center and the Haynes Ring Plaza will be restricted and will not open for photos.
“Access to the alumni center will be limited to only the ring recipient,” Greenwade said. “The number of ring recipients in the building at a given time will be greatly reduced, ring stations will be spaced six feet apart and protective face coverings will be required to enter the facility.”
Ring Day typically brings friends and family to College Station to celebrate their Aggie earning their ring. Due to the changes, the celebration can continue, just not on campus.
“Earning your Aggie Ring is, indeed, a family celebration for many,” Greenwade said. “For this ring delivery, we encourage families to have small celebrations at home to mark the occasion. We saw families create special family memories when rings were delivered to homes in April, and I’m confident they will find creative ways to celebrate the day while adhering to local limits on gatherings.”
While Ring Day is now Ring Week, business honors junior Sydney Creath said she understands the reasoning behind the new guidelines and procedures. However, Creath said she cannot deny that she feels slightly disappointed that she will not experience a traditional Ring Day.
“After reading the new guidelines, I was disappointed in hearing that I would have to go alone to pick up my ring instead of having the celebration on campus,” Creath said. “My hard work over the past two years has been building up to getting my ring, and I feel like it’s not as special as it would be if the actual ceremony were able to happen. I think at least one person should be able to accompany the student during pick-up so we are not completely alone.”
After considering the health and safety of her family, Creath said they will not be in College Station for her Ring Day due to COVID-19. Creath said she wishes there was still an option to receive rings in the mail while the new guidelines are in place.
“I’m glad that I’m able to be in College Station during this semester, but I almost would prefer having my ring mailed to me so I could open the package while being surrounded by my family,” Creath said. “That would make it more special than being alone when I receive it.”
For more information on the new guidelines for Ring Week, visit tx.ag/RingWeek.