Aggie Ring fosters golden sense of family
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 01:09
Almost 3,500 students will join the ranks of those who bear that golden symbol of one’s tie to Texas A&M: the Aggie Ring.
On the first Ring Day of the fall semester, students, family members and friends will pour into the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center to pick up their Aggie Rings on Friday afternoon.
According to the Association of Former Students website, the oldest Aggie Ring ever known dates from 1889, just 13 years after the founding of A&M. For almost 80 years, the University continued to alter the details of the ring, which included changing the engraved name to Texas A&M University from the former names: A&M College of Texas and Texas A&M College.
Minor details were also modified before settling on the current design, such as the addition of the Texas and U.S. flags and the positioning of the state seal and crossed weapons. In 1967, the lettering and design of the ring students will receive Friday was set.
Nine years after the ring’s final design was decided, Bill Travis graduated from Texas A&M with the Class of 1976. When Travis received his Aggie Ring before graduating, it was not quite the event that Ring Day has grown to be.
“Of course, I was very proud,” Travis said. “But of course, it’s not like it is now, where your family comes up and you stand under the huge ring. It was a real simple, quiet deal. And, we did not have any type of a dunking tradition.”
Despite changes in execution, Travis said the way A&M celebrates Ring Day is outstanding and a great tradition to have started. When he remembered putting his daughter’s Aggie Ring on her finger on Ring Day last year, he said he has a hard time describing the bond that he felt with her.
“To add to the father-daughter connection that is already there, I am extremely proud that we have that extra bond of both being Aggies,” Travis said.
Travis said he consistently runs into people wearing the Aggie ring and can make that special connection with them, as well.
Travis said he hopes that current students receiving their Aggie Ring this Friday will realize how special it is.
“You will find that when you get out into the working world, you will always have that special connection,” Travis said. “There’s a real bond. The Aggie ring is very distinct in the way that it looks, and people can pick it up real quick.”
Kathryn Greenwade, Class of 1988 and vice president of communications at the Association of Former Students, said the Association is excitedly anticipating Ring Day.
“The three large Ring Days are probably the three best days we have at the Association of Former Students,” Greenwade said. “It’s exciting for us as staff, as volunteers and as former students to see students earning their Aggie Ring. It makes [former students] so confident to see that the students are just as excited as they were when they got their Aggie Rings.”
The Association of Former Students and its subcommittees collaborate to put on each Ring Day, arranging details and planning ahead for the surge of crowds.
“It will be busy and there will always be lots of people,” Greenwade said. “That’s a problem we welcome and a problem we celebrate because it’s encouraging to have so many students and their families there.”
With an estimated number of almost 10,000 people coming through the doors, Greenwade said no one should expect to park at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center on Friday.
Instead, Greenwade said students should park in West Campus Garage, Koldus Garage or take the shuttle between West Campus Garage and the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center.
Greenwade also encouraged students to tweet and post pictures on Twitter about receiving their Aggie rings.
“We will have a Twitter feed running along the side of the screen inside the building,” Greenwade said. “So, if people are tweeting and typing #aggiering, we’ll put that up on the screen.”