Of the nearly 6,300 Aggie Rings that will be distributed during Ring Day, around 2,360 will be men’s rings. However, three of those men’s rings will go to Aggie women.
Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of The Association of Former Students, said that women do order men’s rings from time to time and that the ordering process is the same. The only distinction is that the Association asks the student to order in person to verify that the ring is for them.
Psychology junior Karla Alvarez placed an order for a men-size Aggie Ring. Alvarez said that from the start, the larger ring attracted her more than the traditional women’s ring. Alvarez said the size difference allowed for added detail of the Aggie symbols.
Alvarez is a first-generation Aggie and said these symbols are important to her as she has adopted the Texas A&M core values as her own. Alvarez said the symbols are also indicative of the work she has put in and have now come to represent her.
“Whenever I was looking into the school, I really identified with the values of it,” Alvarez said. “So the ring is a reflection of my identity as well.”
Genetics senior Ammarah Sattar received her men’s ring last semester and said the history behind the rings helped influence her decision when she was on the fence between the smaller and larger sizes. Sattar said she valued the sacrifices women made in the past supporting their Aggies and being given a sweetheart ring. However, Sattar felt that her sacrifice was a different one and she wanted it visually displayed.
A sweetheart ring is a ring that a male student from the Class of 1972 or before can purchase for his wife or mother and is a smaller replica of his ring. These were phased out after women were admitted to A&M.
“I read a story about how the women’s ring used to be the Aggie sweetheart ring,” Sattar said. “I just feel like I worked so hard for this degree and it was so painful sometimes and it was so much hard work and it was so much effort. And I really just wanted the knowledge that the only other people who have this ring are the people who also [achieved] the same accomplishment that I did.”
Civil engineering senior Jeanette Lipton is Sattar’s roommate and also has a men’s ring. Lipton said having the larger ring expresses her Aggie pride much more boldly and keeps the ring from losing any of the detail that she admires.
“I like my giant ostentatious hunk of hunkiness,” Lipton said. “I also really like how big all the details [are] on the side. Especially when you have it antiqued, everything is there, it’s all there. You can be far away and you can still see the details on the leaves, and I like that.”
Sattar said at the end of the day it is up to personal preference and the smaller ring is no less valuable than the larger one.
“Whether you appreciate the larger or smaller ring more, I feel like everyone should really choose the one they like the best,” Sattar said. “You’re the one who’s going to wear it.”