Former students fulfill Aggie’s dream
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 00:09
Aggieland will shine a little brighter Friday when 3,509 students receive their Aggie Ring.
It is a symbol cherished by students and alumni long after they leave the University, but for some it becomes cause for worry when it is lost, misplaced or too expensive to buy.
It is during these times, however, that the Aggie Ring’s symbolism becomes a reality. The sides may wear and the shine may dull, but the spirit the Aggie Ring stands for is exemplified in the actions that some take to make sure every Aggie can wear it proudly.
Kyle McClannan, Class of 2009, wanted to be an Aggie since he first wanted to go to college. He only applied to one university, was accepted and four years later walked the stage with a degree in political science. One thing was
“I had to pay for all of my college through loans and could not afford the Aggie Ring,” McClannan said. “But I always hoped that I could purchase it one day on my own.”
After graduation, McClannan’s work led him to New Tech Global, an oil and gas consultancy firm that had a large Aggie presence on its staff.
McClannan said his dream of one day owning an Aggie Ring took the first step toward reality when he first walked in to discuss sales with the New Tech Global staff.
“I came in [to the office], and while I was waiting to meet with my contact and speaking to the receptionist, a lady walked up and we began to make small talk,” McClannan said. “She found out I was an Aggie, and while we were talking she asked, ‘Where’s your class ring?’”
McClannan explained to her how he had never been able to buy one but hoped to get it as soon as he was able. He then went to his meeting and left, not thinking twice about the conversation. The story of an Aggie who never had the chance to own an Aggie Ring, however, took root in the hearts of several Aggie employees at New Tech Global.
Rob Williams, Class of 2005 and New Tech Global employee, learned about McClannan’s story and immediately felt the need to help.
“[The receptionist] got with me and a few other Aggies in the office and told us his story,” Williams said. “So we took a guess on his ring size and sent out an email to the other Aggies in the office asking if anyone would be interested in donating to buy an Aggie Ring for this guy.”
The response was immediate.
“It took maybe 30 minutes to raise the money after we sent the email,” Williams said.
While his story was making the rounds through New Tech Global, McClannan continued to work with Cintas, unaware that his ring was being sized, bought and paid for by a group of Aggies. Neither McClannan, Williams nor the others involved had yet to meet or speak with each other.
McClannan said a few months after his initial meeting with New Tech Global, he received a call from one of its representatives asking him to come in for another meeting. He had moved departments and was no longer on the sales staff, but the representative was insistent.
“I tried to reschedule but he kept insisting on meeting me,” McClannan said. “I was starting to think that maybe this was them trying to recruit me for something. I had my suspicion, and I thought something was fishy, but I went anyways.”
McClannan and his contact sat down in a conference room and began discussing business, but before the meeting got fully underway, the doors opened and people began walking in.
“All of a sudden, one of the conference room doors opened and a bunch of people came in and introduced themselves,” McClannan said. “They made a circle along the wall and the company president introduced himself, and the theme was that everyone was an Aggie.”
The true purpose of the meeting was revealed: the New Tech Global Aggies presented McClannan with his own Aggie Ring.
“It was a pretty amazing moment,” McClannan said. “I was shaking and I didn’t know what was going on. The ring is something every Aggie wants. It’s a bond that we all have that goes back such a long time.”
Williams said it was the Aggie Spirit that motivated the group to give McClannan his Aggie Ring.
“Our main message to him was, ‘You don’t know us, and we don’t know you, but we know each other because we’re Aggies,’” Williams said.