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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Ring Day surprise

University+studies+junior+Michaela+Johnson+was+surprised+by+her+family+and+friends+but+most+importantly+her+father%2C+Rich+Johnson%2C+who+wont+be+able+to+make+her+Ring+Day.%26%23160%3B
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University studies junior Michaela Johnson was surprised by her family and friends but most importantly her father, Rich Johnson, who won’t be able to make her Ring Day. 

With the help of The Association of Former Students and some friends, Michaela Johnson’s Ring Day dream became a reality.
The university studies junior always wanted the memory and honor of her father presenting her Aggie Ring. However, after Johnson’s father was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Cancer in September of 2017, she feared she may not experience that moment. On Oct. 17, Johnson’s Ring Day wishes came true when her friends planned a surprise ceremony which mimicked the event.
Johnson’s friend, urban & regional planning senior Mariam Harutunian helped coordinate the surprise and asked Johnson to accompany her on an errand. When the two arrived at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center, Assistant Vice President of Communications Scot Walker told Johnson that they were “rehearsing” for Ring Day.
“Totally believable because Ring Day is on Friday,” said Johnson. “So I didn’t think anything of it.”
Walker gave Johnson a Ring Day ticket and asked her to go place it on the table across the room. As she took a step, Johnson noticed her own name on the ticket and turned around to see her friends and family gathered around her. Along with the group was her father, Rich Johnson.
“It was actually really cool because as soon as I like turned around to look at [Harutunian] to be like, ‘Why is my name on this paper?’ I saw like my dad and then everyone like friends, Fish Camp, everyone just [walked] out behind,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s father presented an Aggie Ring box to her, but because she is not eligible to order her ring yet, it held her friend’s Aggie gold. Even though this wasn’t Johnson’s actual ring, she said she was grateful to have this memory with her father.
“It was amazing,” Johnson said. “It was a complete dream come true. I got everything except the ring. I got the memory, I got the sticker, I got the box, I got the certificate, I got it all. I got the pictures. Now I just need to push for the ring. I have the box sitting on my desk to push me.”
Harutunian said she knew how important it was to Johnson, because she could relate to the fear of losing a parent.
“This means the world to me,” said Harutunian. “I’m somebody that has already gotten my ring, my dad put my ring on me. My dad has also fought cancer, so Michaela and I really related on that. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to have let my dad be able to put my ring on me, and so just being able to be a small part of that getting to happen to Michaela is just the greatest honor.”
Walker said acts of kindness like these happen all the time at The Association.
“There is exposure to these beautiful life moments that are constantly happening here all the time,” Walker said. “This is yet another demonstration of the Aggie Spirit and the commitment to selfless service on the part of Mariam and all the councils from Camp Wenzel and all of Michaela’s friends who were involved in making it happen.”
Johnson expects to get her ring this coming spring.

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