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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

The centerpiece of Ring Day

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Photo by Photo by: Alexis Will

The Association’s Ring Statue is modeled after the ring of Herold Haynes, Class of 1946. As such, the wording around the ring statue’s crest reads “A&M College of Texas”, the univeristiy’s name until 1963. A bird’s-eye of view the Association reveals the ring design of the building’s front plaza.

Weighing 6,500 pounds and standing 12 feet tall, the Haynes Ring Plaza Ring is the largest — physically, at least — symbol of the Aggie Ring tradition.
The bronze, 1 to 137 scale-model Aggie Ring has been the centerpiece to Haynes Ring Plaza outside of the Association of Former Students since 2009. The ring is modeled after the class ring of Harold J. Haynes, Class of 1946, and features his class year on top and his name inscribed on the inside. Haynes and his wife Reta were leading donors in the Association of Former Students’ building enhancement project in 2009. The ring is labeled with “A&M College of Texas,” the name of the school before 1963.
Kathryn Greenwade, Vice President of the Association of Former Students, said the ring is the destination for students to celebrate milestones.
“It has exceeded all of our expectations for being that iconic photo spot,” said Greenwade. “People will take photos when they order their Aggie Ring. We also have a lot of Aggie families come take Christmas card pictures, graduation photos. A few proposals have occurred under the ring.”
The inside of the replica ring is a time capsule, which is meant to be opened by the class of 2046. Inside of the time capsule are a letter and photographs from the Haynes family as well as information on the enhancement project that the replica is a product of. A satellite view of Haynes Ring Plaza shows that the plaza itself is in the shape of a ring, with the replica ring placed in the middle.
Mike Havel, Class of 1976, said the ring was an idea during the planning of the enhancement project.
“The question was asked, ‘How could we get more Aggies to visit the Alumni Center?’ I first said, ‘Add a bigger parking lot,’ and then [I] looked at my ring and thought we need a Kodak spot that included the Aggie Ring,” Havel said. “Why not make a large Aggie Ring Sculpture like we had at Ring Dance?”
Wes Hendrick, a construction science senior, is a Corps of Cadets executive officer of A-2 company. A-2 company, nicknamed “Keepers of the Ring,” cleans the ring every semester.
“We go out, and we spend about 45 minutes to an hour polishing it with this thick wax,” said Hendrick. “We are the only ones that do this … The ring is just really important to me. This ring has a lot of meaning to it.”
Havel drafted a sketch of an Aggie Ring to send to Balfour, the manufacturer of Aggie Rings, in Austin to get a solid model. Before he sent the final design in, Havel says he and other members of the Association of Former Students came up with the scale to get a quote for Balfour.
“It was decided that the ring needed to be big enough for the tallest basketball player to stand inside with a top hat on or the shortest member of the band with a Tuba,” Havel said. “I … initially came up with a total height of 11.76 feet. So naturally I rounded up to 12 feet. That equaled 137 times the size of my own Aggie Ring.”
Havel says that halfway through the manufacturing process of the ring, he looked at his own ring and thought of the water the model would hold. He called Balfour and told them to drill holes for drainage.
“With the Aggie Ring standing upright the ring shield would hold rain water. I could see it in my dreams, the perfect bird bath … I had not taken this into consideration in the design,” Havel said. “Before the ring left the foundry, the shield was filled with water, and drain holes were drilled. It has worked terrific since 2009.”

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