The day I have dreamt of for nearly four years has finally come. By the time you’re reading this column, I can guarantee you that I will be staring at my hand in admiration. Why? You may ask. It’s not because I have some weird obsession with my hands — it’s because I just got my Aggie Ring!
Getting my Aggie Ring means more to me than I can put into words, but I will try my best.
My love for Texas A&M began with my father, John Somogye, Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 1983. More than anyone else, my dad taught me what it means to be an Aggie. He instilled (or some may say brainwashed) A&M’s core values in me from a very young age.
Whenever I would get into trouble, I would hear the same spiel from my dad: “Sam, an Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.” If I ever told him I left a game early (red asses, please don’t yell at me — I know, it’s terrible), I would always get a similar reaction: “What! An Aggie never leaves until the game is over, and we’ve sawed ‘em off one more time.” I could go on and on, but for my sake and yours, I won’t — I’m sure you get the picture.
In my sophomore year of high school, people robbed my house in Houston. They took everything: clothes, televisions, jewelry. You name it. They stole one thing that hit extra close to home, however. It was my dad’s Aggie Ring.
My dad is a proud man and has never been one to show much emotion, so he never seemed too upset about his stolen ring, but I knew it hurt him. Due to financial constraints, my dad never replaced it. Ever since that day, like any good Ag, I decided I would do something about it.
After I ordered my ring in August, I started a GoFundMe called “My Father’s Stolen Ring.” The goal of this GoFundMe was to raise enough money so I could order my dad’s ring and surprise him with it when he presented mine to me. I shared the fundraiser with friends and family and even posted it on Facebook pages such as “Aggies Helping Aggies.”
Let me tell you, the outpouring of support was outstanding. However, there is one instance that stands out.
One afternoon I got an email from a woman saying she saw my Facebook post. She wanted to know if she could mail me a check since she knew GoFundMe took a small portion of the donations. Being a desperate and broke college student, I humbly accepted. Honestly, I was expecting a check for $20, at most $50. Regardless, I was ecstatic at the idea of getting any donation at all.
A couple of days later, an envelope came in the mail. I opened it to a check that was $250. My jaw dropped. I stared at it for a couple of minutes, holding back tears, as I was in complete awe of this woman's generosity. It also came with a note, part of which said this:
“Once you graduate, keep in touch with Texas A&M. God willing, you’ll be able to pay this forward someday and help a future Aggie fulfill a dream as well.”
Months later, I still get a bit choked up when I read that note.
Within days of starting my fundraiser, I met my goal and ordered my dad’s ring. Today at the Dixie Chicken, I’ll be meeting my dad to present me with mine, and I’ll surprise him with his.
This opportunity was all made possible by the Aggie community. I have never been more proud. I have never felt luckier to be an Aggie because the Aggie community is one like no other. As all Aggies know:
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” I never truly felt that until now.
Whenever I look at my ring, it will remind me of the best years of my life. All the long nights at Evans (and Northgate) and Saturday football games. All of these memories and amazing friendships I have forged along the way will stick with me forever, and my ring will always remind me of that.
As I previously said, I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. But because of the Aggie community, this day will be that much more special and one I will never forget.
To the entire Aggie community and everyone who helped make this day become a reality, I have one thing to say: I love you, thanks and Gig ‘Em.
Sam Somogye is a political science senior and columnist for The Battalion.