UT stored the graduating class of 2019 and 2020’s class rings in the Tower for the first time ever on Thursday night. The following day, the ring ceremony was held in front of the Tower, which was lit the night before in honor of the event.
The changes were made to make the occasion more special for the students and families and will be a tradition moving forward, said Courtney Roehling, vice president of engagement at Texas Exes.
“We tried to make it more and more of a big spectacle, and it makes sure that people feel the heart and soul of the ring,” Roehling said.
Roehling said that Texas Exes moved the ring ceremony to the Tower because of the decision to keep the rings in the Tower the night before.
“We really thought, ‘This is going to be so cool if the rings are dedicated the night before and in the tower,’” Roehling said. “We want to see those rings come out of the Tower and then directly onto the student’s hands. Basically, we’re dedicating those rings to all of those future grads.”
Biomedical engineering junior Saumya Lohia said the new tradition was nice because of the symbolism behind it.
“I thought it was cool … (that) the first and the only place that it’s really been (before we receive it) is the Tower … it’s like a symbol for the University,” Lohia said.
The idea came after talking to several student groups about ways to make the ceremony more special, Roehling said.
“How can we really showcase that this exists, that this is a way that you can wear your diploma in your hand for the rest of your life?” Roehling said. “We talked about several different ideas and I was like, ‘How can we basically dedicate the rings to the students before they even get it?’”
This semester had the highest number of rings sold ever, and Roehling said it is because the tradition is getting more recognition than prior years.
“(Students are) starting to see more and more students that have (rings) on their hands,” Roehling said. “They’re becoming interested in it.”
Biomedical engineering junior Hailey Modi said she bought the ring to remember her years attending UT.
“I want to wear something that shows my Texas pride and commemorates my time here,” Modi said.