While scouring the internet for Aggie gear, Jason Thomas, business graduate student, found an Aggie Ring for sale on eBay. After purchasing the ring, Jason set out to find its owner.
The morning after the Texas A&M vs. Kansas basketball game, Benjamin Harrison, petroleum engineering senior, woke up without his Aggie Ring. The 2018 class ring Harrison had received only a year prior was about a size too big, making it all too easy to slip off in the chaos of the basketball game, according to Harrison.
“While we were out that night it must’ve slipped off my finger without me noticing, so that’s how I woke up without it,” Harrison said. “And then we flew back Sunday morning because we had to be back to study. It was a really short trip, so I was stuck in a position where I couldn’t stay and find it.”
Jason said he contacted the seller on eBay, who claimed to be selling his own Aggie Ring because of hard financial times. After purchasing the ring, Jason said he found Harrison’s name engraved on the inside and set out to find him. Harrison reported his ring missing just days before Jason contacted The Association of Former Students, looking for the owner of the ring he had purchased.
“I reported it to the Aggie Ring Association about a week after I realized it wasn’t coming back and that ended up paying off big time,” Harrison said. “I got a call from my mother and she let me know that Jason Thomas, a man in Austin, happened to be scrolling on eBay looking for Aggie gear and happened to come across an Aggie Ring on there.”
After Jason and Harrison had sorted out the whole debacle, Macalah Thomas, technology management junior and Jason’s daughter, returned the Aggie Ring to Harrison, free of charge.
“When he got his ring back he was so excited. He was smiling and so happy, it was a really great experience,” Macalah said. “[An Aggie Ring] is a symbolic connection with the ideals of Aggieland.”
Jason is a nontraditional student at A&M. He already has two bachelor’s degrees, one master’s degree and a Ph.D., but Jason said he decided to pursue a master’s degree at the Bush School after seeing how much his daughter loved the Aggie Spirit. Now, Jason is about a year away from receiving his own Aggie Ring. He said he wants his daughter to be the one to present his ring to him, after she receives her Aggie Ring in the fall of 2018.
“I really didn’t understand the sense of community that came with being a part of Texas A&M until Macalah toured and everybody was so open and inclusive. She took to it right away, but for me [the ring] really represents bridging the gap,” Jason said. “When I grew up, education wasn’t really available to me so I joined the Army, but I never had the opportunity to have a real college experience.”
Harrison said he could not be more grateful to Jason for showing him what the Aggie Spirit really is.
“It’s a part of me now and especially after this entire process it means that much more to me,” Harrison said. “To hit such a low, losing my ring and then to hit such a peak when it came back made my entire college career. I thought I knew what the Aggie family was before, but now he has fully embodied the tradition here at A&M.”