Around 4,300 Aggies will be receiving their rings on Friday, with distribution starting at 9:45 a.m. in the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center.
This Ring Day will be the first of three that will take place in the 2019-2020 school year, with the other two scheduled for November and April. Once an Aggie has received credit for 90 hours of coursework, 45 of which must be at Texas A&M, they are eligible to order their Aggie gold.
Any student in a degree program offered through A&M is eligible for a ring, said Kathryn Greenwade, Class of ‘88 and vice president for communications and human resources at The Association of Former Students. This includes the A&M branch campuses at Galveston and Qatar, as well as the A&M law school. A total of 150 Aggie Rings will be given out at these locations this September.
As each Ring Day grows closer, Greenwade said she encourages students to stay on top of their email inboxes to receive pertinent information about Ring Day essentials.
“Read all the emails you get from The Association,” Greenwade said. “You want to check your email frequently because we will be sending emails throughout the week. We are trying to break those down into smaller emails rather than one big long email, so you can digest a little at a time.”
When each student chooses a time to receive their ring, they are put into a group. Each group contains about 100 individuals, who are given 20 minutes inside the building to enjoy their ceremony. After that, they are directed outside and can remain on the property, taking pictures as long as they like, Greenwade said. Students should plan to arrive no more than 15 minutes before their allotted pickup time.
“We started in the April ring delivery staging everything in our parking lot just to keep pedestrians from overflowing into Houston Street, although Houston Street will be closed,” Greenwade said.
The Association’s parking lot closes on Thursday to allow for Ring Day preparations, as those receiving their ring will line up in the lot. Parking for the event is available in West Campus Garage, and a shuttle will transport students and their families to the Alumni Center starting at 8:45 a.m. Additional parking is also available in Cain, University Center, Central and Southside garages, though a shuttle will not be provided at those locations.
To accommodate people with mobility issues and disabilities, there is a fully accessible entrance on the Houston Street side, a second drop-off location and ADA-compliant buses. However, Greenwade said students should consider the challenges that come with a crowded event like Ring Day.
“If you have people with you that have mobility concerns, be sensitive to that,” Greenwade said. “There are times when it may be better to find a way to celebrate after the fact. If they want to be here, we welcome them here, but there will be some limitations.”
On the day of, students should bring their ring ticket and two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, student ID or ring receipt. Greenwade said students and family members should follow The Association’s Twitter page to get live updates throughout the day. They can also visit tx.ag/ringday for updates and answers to frequently asked questions.
“It is an exciting day,” Greenwade said. “There will be a lot of people here. It is a day you are sharing with 4,300 of your closest friends, so just be patient, and we are going to get everyone through to get their ring. We just want to be as efficient and orderly about it as we can.”