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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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Last dance

The first Ring Dance took place in a mess hall 73 years ago. Eventually the annual tradition was moved to the Memorial Student Center. Because of the upcoming renovations, the Ring Dance Saturday for the Class of 2009 was the last one in the original MSC.
“I think it is really sad this being the last Ring Dance in the MSC, especially because my Ring Dance will have to be somewhere else,” said Lauren Lognion, sophomore recreation parks and tourism science major and Ring Dance co-director.
Lognion’s co-director, Nelia DuChamp, is a senior this year and considers it an honor to be in the last class to have their dance in the untransformed MSC.
“As a member of Class Council for the past four years, I have been involved with the planning and implementation of Ring Dance,” said Duchamp, senior communication major. “Throughout my college career I have awaited the 2009 Ring Dance. I feel that the Class of 2009 Ring Dance will be a great part of MSC tradition here at Texas A&M.”
As in years before, the MSC and Rudder Tower had to be reserved 10 years in advance.
“Today Ring Dance is held on a much larger scale than when it began,” DuChamp said. “Each year, the MSC and Rudder Tower are transformed by fabulous decorations, food, a casino, live bands and all of your college friends in one place at one time.”
Lognion said the Ring Dance is a great way to unite the members of each class at the end of their college experience.
“I love the way Ring Dance brings the senior class together,” she said. “Over the four years Aggies meet many new people, it is nice to bring them all back together for a huge celebration before they go off into the real world.”
The dance had two live bands, three DJ’s, a casino, karaoke and food. Prizes were raffled off at the end of the night including a Benjamin Knox print and a diamond from David Gardner’s to be placed in the winner’s Aggie ring.
“Overall, Ring Dance is an amazing tradition, and it was neat and weird knowing that it was the last time the event would be held in the current MSC,” said Ashley Temperton, junior construction science major, who attended the dance. “We had so much fun playing in the casino. It was blast.”
There were many committee members dedicated to putting Ring Dance together.
“The members of our committees have worked extremely hard and the decorations looked great, not to mention all amazing the entertainment we had booked for the night,” Lognion said.
The tradition of Ring Dance started in 1936 and much has been done since then to make the tradition the way it is today.
“A group of seniors got together and decided that since the Aggie ring was the traditional mark of a student whose days at Texas A&M were coming to a close, it was only appropriate to have a time to celebrate this transition of their lives,” DuChamp said. “With that, they decided to have a formal dance and make the Aggie ring the central theme of the evening.”
Changing the location of the Ring Dance is not the only change the tradition has faced over the years.
“During World War II, Aggies decided that they would have a dance traditionally in the spring, but they also offered a dance the next fall in order to allow the returning soldiers a chance to attend their senior Ring Dance,” DuChamp said.
However, DuChamp said some things about the tradition have remained the same.
“Generations of Aggies have taken their picture within a giant plaster of the ring, and we still do that today,” she said. “Many people have generations of pictures hanging in hallways and homes around the country. As tradition has it, seniors step into the giant ring and they then turn their ring so that the class year no longer faces them but now faces the world and seals this tradition.”
Even with changes in detail, the tradition and meaning of Ring Dance will remain the same – to bring Aggies together.
“There is no way to express the way this University and the Class of 2009 has impacted my life,” Duchamp said. “I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to give back to those who have given me so much.”

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