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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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Longhorn finds student’s Aggie ring


Louis Smien lost his Aggie ring in a Dallas hotel, where a UT Longhorn found and returned it. 

The Aggie Ring is more than a piece of jewelry; it is a celebration of academic achievements, a symbol of pride and an admittance into the Aggie network. Losing the Aggie Ring is heartbreaking, as Louis Smien, Class of 1988, knows.

During the past Thanksgiving, Louis traveled from College Station to Dallas to take care of business responsibilities while his family visited relatives. Smith stayed at Dallas’ Anatole Hotel, where he believed to have last seen his ring.

Damen Smien, Class of 2014 and Louis’ son, said his father only removed his Aggie Ring when he was going to sleep or taking a shower.

“The night before my dad left Dallas, he left his ring in the hotel safe,” Damen said. “By the time we all realized it was missing, we had all gone back home.” 

The Smiens called the Anatole hotel numerous times to inquire about a lost, golden ring. The hotel staff said they had not found it.

“My father was devastated,” Damen said. “He had held that ring for 26 years.” 

Having lost the ring in a large city and at one of the most frequented hotel by non-Texans, Louis was sure the ring was gone for good, Damen said. 

Louis was convinced his ring would have been stolen or pawned off. Months passed and he lost hope, eventually considering buying a new Aggie Ring. Then tragedy struck the Smien family again.

“In February, my grandfather passed away after a long and healthy 88 years,” Damen said. “Although never an attendee, he was the proudest Aggie dad and grandfather a person could ask for.”

Louis neglected work responsibilities and checking emails due to having so much on his mind. A few days passed and after returning to normalcy, he checked his email and had a message from an unknown address. For Louis, the message was a blessing during a most difficult time: 

A friend of mine has found your Aggie Ring. Give me a call. Signed, Scott Eberhart ’74.         

“Initially, my father wanted to surprise us with the news,” Damen said. “But we figured out immediately because among everything that was going on, he had been smiling a little more than usual.” 

A Longhorn pilot had retrieved the ring while at the Anatole Hotel and had immediately called his closest Aggie friend, Eberhart, to share the news. Eberhart then contacted the Association of Former Students to collect Louis’ contact information.

“It’s unbelievable how strong the Texas A&M community is while you’re a student and even after you graduate,” Damen said. “This incidence goes to show even those outside the Aggie network knows the ring signifies. Even a Longhorn took the time out to find our family and return the ring.” 

Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of the Association of Former Students and Class of 1988, said the Aggie spirit signifies a strong sense of community to anyone who is familiar with it.

“You don’t find something like this at other schools,” Greenwade said.

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  • Louis Smien’s ring was found and returned by a UT Longhorn.

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