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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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Ring Day(s) in Aggieland: Storms complicate record-setting Aggie Ring Day

Junior+Alex+Hill+shows+off+his+ring+with+three+generations+of+Aggie+alumni.
Mary Reyes

Junior Alex Hill shows off his ring with three generations of Aggie alumni.

Although the clouds rolled in and storms divided Ring “Day” across two days, College Station saw its largest Aggie Ring Day turnout yet. 
At the Clayton Williams Jr. Alumni Center, 4,811 Aggies students received their rings Friday and Saturday.
The Association of Former Students estimated 30,000 people visited the Alumni Center over the weekend — an average of about six people per student getting a ring. 
Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of the association, said the ceremonies Friday had to be moved to Saturday because the weather was too much of a safety concern for people waiting outside to receive their ring.
“Two lightning delays and the weather that is on its way is looking severe,” Greenwade said. “We did not want to endanger people with being outside in those conditions. We are very sorry we had to suspend activities for today. If we could have continued them we would but we really couldn’t.”
Despite the weather, about 75 percent of students picked up their rings Friday. One of these students was Tonee Anderson, animal science senior and first generation Aggie. Like many others, Anderson said she was excited to get her ring.
“It’s this feeling that I’m almost done,” Anderson said. “That’s really nice you know. It’s just great.”
AC Steadman, civil engineering senior and a third generation Aggie, also received his ring before the stormy weather hit Friday, and said the event was surreal. 
“It kind of hasn’t hit me yet that I have it,” Steadman said. “I was kind of nervous but then I finally came here and got it. And now it’s just really weird having it on my hand now.”
Among those in attendance was Benjamin Knox, Class of 1990. Knox has attended Ring Day ceremonies for the last 15 years to paint and sign his artwork to raise money for an endowment through a program with the Century Club. 
He said the spectacle of Ring Day differs sharply from when he received his own ring. 
“I was in the Corps and I was working pretty hard at the time,” Knox said. “I just ran up and grabbed my ring. I wasn’t even able to pick it up on the official day. This is really fantastic that the Association of Former Students has created the whole Ring Day experience.”
With the Aggie Ring, Knox said Aggies recognize each other anywhere, citing personal examples of meeting former students everywhere from Big Bend National Park to Greece. He said receiving the Aggie Ring should be a point of pride for students.
“It’s something you earn, and that’s something that’s a treasure and can be proud of that for the rest of your life,” Knox said.
Other Aggies who had to receive their rings Saturday were disappointed by the Friday cancellation, but were still excited to get their rings. 
One such student was Ashley Falls, kinesiology junior, who had intended for her grandfather to present her with the ring Friday. Falls said her grandfather was not able to be in town Saturday.
“It was really heartbreaking being surrounded by my family and my Class of ’51 grandfather and not being able to have him present it to me, but the Association of Former Students was very professional and worked hard to still make Ring Day on Saturday special,” Falls said. “All in all it wasn’t about when I got it, it just feels good to have my little piece of gold.” 
Savannah Schwarz, English junior, was at the alumni center just minutes away from getting her ring when the announcement was made that Friday’s ceremonies were cancelled and postponed.
“It was frustrating because no one was moving and it would have been easy to slip everyone through if they had just continued the process,” Schwarz said. “I was upset but I was okay with knowing that I’d get it with my family the next day. If Saturday didn’t work out, my parents would have been beyond upset.”

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