Over 4,600 students will receive one of the most widely celebrated traditions at Ring Day on Sept. 22.
The class of 2018 and 2017 will earn most of the rings this month, but professional and graduate students from Class of 2020 and other classes, dating back to 1951, in need of replacement rings will also be part of the celebration. Ring Day activities will include food from Slovacek’s Sausage, photographs by the Bus 12, titled ‘Ring Day,’ job hunting advice from the career center and a chance to meet artist Benjamin Knox, Class of 1990.
Knox has become a regular part of the Ring Day festivities and will be offering personalized signed copies of his ring prints, according to Association of Former Students Vice President Kathryn Greenwade.
“Benjamin is recognized as one of the pre-eminent Aggie artists and has captured a lot of A&M traditions through his prints, but one main reason we do that is because Benjamin has established [an endowed Century Club scholarship],” Greenwade said. “He gives back through Texas A&M through his artwork. There is a percentage that comes back to scholarships or endowed century club. It’s something that adds to the day and gives you a keepsake that you can take with you.”
Nursing junior Brayli Griffin said she used to try on her mother’s Aggie Ring when she was younger, and now she will try on her very own piece of A&M gold on Friday.
“Every true Aggie looks forward to wearing their ring,” Griffin said. “You can walk around and it’s just noticeable, you see it on someone’s hand and you know what it represents. You know it symbolizes the core values and how hard you worked to get it. It shows that you are dedicated. It’s not something that is easily earned. I think it just shows what an Aggie is.”
The university ring also serves as a connection to other members of the Aggie family, Greenwade said.
“It symbolizes achievement — to earn 90 hours of your degree plan is significant — and it also signifies your connection to your fellow Aggies,” Greenwade said.
Communication senior Trisha Rangil, said she struggled during her first year at A&M and eventually changed her major. To Rangil the ring is much more than a piece of jewelry. It is a testament of her perseverance as a student.
“I’m finally here and because of that I will be graduating a whole year early because I didn’t give up,” Rangil said. “I had a really tough challenge and the ring just shows that I finally made it and it’s like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and I am just really excited to finally get it.”
Despite the fact that there are three Ring Days every year, Greenwade said there is always something unique and special about every celebration.
“Ring Day is always exciting even though a lot of it is the same from every year it’s different because it’s a different group of Aggies getting their rings so that’s always exciting to see generations of the Aggie Network come together for Ring Day,” Greenwade said. “For those of us that have been around awhile, it kind of re-energizes us to see that excitement.”
All ring recipients are required to bring their ring receipt, driver’s license and student ID to the event. While the festivities will take place at The Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center, there will be no parking there. Visitors are asked to use the shuttle from West Campus Garage. A group of recipients will be called every 15 minutes beginning at 9:45 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m.