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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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Aggie Ring Day cultures

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Galveston
Texas A&M Galveston, along with other A&M campuses, have the option to receive their rings at College Station. Jon Hohg, student body president at the Galveston campus and marine sciences senior, said most of the Galveston students receive their ring on campus.
“We have a couple people a year who get their ring up at College Station,” Hohg said. “That’s if they have family up there or their actual family lives in College Station. But for the majority of the people, they stay down here and get their ring here.”
Hohg said Ring Day begins in a private banquet hall similar to the flag room in the MSC.
“We have yell leaders down here and we actually do a small yell practice before rings are handed out,” Hohg said.
Shelley Fordyce, Class of 1999 and associate director of student activities at the Galveston campus, said the faculty and staff celebrate with the students.
“Because we’re a small campus, it’s really nice that a lot of our faculty know our students,” Fordyce said. “And so to be able to have those support systems that you’ve had since you got here as a freshmen to come and celebrate with you is really nice.”
School of Law
Casey Oliver, Class of 2002 and director of marketing and external affairs at the law school, facilitated the first-ever Ring Day at her campus in May.
“Our campus is little bit different,” Oliver said. “I wanted to make it a little more ceremonial and I think that’s a big aspect that makes ours different than y’all’s.”
The ceremony consists of a welcome, a short presentation about the ring’s legacy and an announcement of the students who are then presented with their ring, Oliver said.
“We talk about how all the core values are not only important in the profession of law but important to the person,” Oliver said. “It’s at the core of who we are to help one another out. The ring is identifiable anywhere you go. Anywhere you go — it’s that ring.”
Braxton Bragg, law school Class of 2014, said although their ceremony is more formal than that of College Station, many students still participate in ring dunks. Bragg said the owner of a local bar, Malone’s, has always been accommodating to the law students on Ring Day.
“For our ring dunk he opened the pub early and ordered some extra bottles of single-malt scotch,” Bragg said. “Some of us decided to dunk our rings in scotch as a nod to the Aggie tradition with a law school twist.”
Oliver said the tradition of Ring Day is unique to A&M and isn’t something that students can find anywhere else.
“The ring is the core of who we are in terms of a symbol,” Oliver said. “We’re bringing our core values and what we’re all about to life and into something visible that people can see and recognize. It’s really an honor.”
Qatar
Nadila Salim, chemical engineering senior at Qatar, said a significant difference in the ceremony is the dress code — women wear their Abayas and men wear their Thobes.
“This is the Middle Eastern cultural dress and so it is mostly a sea of black and white whenever you turn,” Salim said. “It is actually an amazing view considering how we are Arabs yet at the same time existing in an American society.”
Zeyad Khayyat, mechanical engineering senior at Qatar, said another difference in their ring culture is the choice to order a silver Aggie Ring for religious reasons.
“In Islam, men are not allowed to wear gold, hence the silver option,” Khayyat said. “Other than religious reasons, I honestly think that silver looks better, at least for me. Men are still allowed to order gold rings on this campus, though.”
The atmosphere at the Qatar campus during Ring Day is much different than that of College Station, Khayyat said.
“Since each student is called to the stage by name, the experience is much more personal and everyone gets to see you put on your ring for the first time,” Khayyat said.
Kathryn Greenwade, Class of 1988 and vice president of the Association of Former Students, said her trip to Qatar for that campus’s Ring Day in 2011 was one of her favorite Aggie memories.
“As the name was called, the students were cheering for one another just like they just scored a touchdown,” Greenwade said. “It was just this beautiful feeling of camaraderie and they were just as happy for their friends getting their ring as they were for themselves getting their ring.”

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