The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students christen their Aggie Gold

Aggie+Ring+recipients+traditionally+dunk+their+rings+in+a+pitcher+of+beer.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Aggie Ring recipients traditionally dunk their rings in a pitcher of beer.

Although ring dunks are not an official tradition of Texas A&M, they have been a part of Aggie culture for a long time.
Ring dunking is one of the many customs that are unique to Aggies. The concept is said to have originated in the 1970s when a Corps of Cadets member dropped his Aggie gold in a pitcher of beer at the Dixie Chicken and decided drinking it was easier than fishing it out by hand. Since then, ring dunks have greatly evolved through the years but have always centered around the act of christening one’s ring by dropping it in a pitcher of liquid, often beer, and downing the liquid in a matter of seconds.
When she was at A&M, Lainey Henderson Hayward, Class of 1996, said ring dunks were usually held at the Dixie Chicken on Northgate.
“[A] ring dunk was common, and it usually took place the same weekend as Chilifest,” Hayward said. “At that time, the Corps and Bonfire crew hung out at The Chicken on a regular basis.”
At the time, Hayward said ring dunking often involved both family and friends.
“My family came in for the event,” Hayward said. “For ring dunk, we would descend on The Chicken for our pitcher of beer. Girls would go with light beer, many men with Lone Star.”
Instead of drinking the pitcher in as few seconds as possible, Hayward said Aggies would attempt to down the liquid in a number of seconds around or equal to their class year.
“You’d let it come to room temperature before the attempt to down it in a class set,” Hayward said. “For me, it was 96 seconds, which I did not accomplish.”
According to an article in The Eagle, the tradition changed in the mid-1990s because of new legislation surrounding alcohol.
“Ring dunking has moved from Northgate’s bars and into private events and parties after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission began in 1996 enforcing a state law that prohibits serving more than 32 ounces of alcohol in one sitting,” the article reads.
Psychology senior Daylen Wagner said she recently dunked her ring as a fun way to bond with her friends.
“I had it worked out with my friends, and we mainly did it because it’s kind of a tradition and some of my friends had done it in the past,” Wagner said.
Although ring dunks can be an exciting experience, Wagner said they should be approached with caution by those dunking with alcohol.
“I think that there’s like different takeaways from it because I do think it’s fun, and I think it can be a tradition with family, but you have to be cautious,” Wagner said.
Since some students receive their rings and graduate early, Wagner said there’s a risk involved for students who are underage and choose to dunk their rings in an alcoholic beverage.
“I think it’s fine if you’re old enough, if you can have alcohol,” Wagner said. “But these days, it’s so hard because people come in with so many hours, and then they’re getting a ring their sophomore or whatever year.”
The Battalion has provided tips for having a fun and safe ring dunk that suggests Aggies dunk in non-alcoholic beverages, be aware of alcohol poisoning, not dunk on an empty stomach and more.

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