Ceremony of symbols for Lions

Students enjoy the ring ceremony.

Students enjoy the ring ceremony.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

The Ring Ceremony is a time-honored tradition at the university that not only symbolizes a student’s alma mater, but also is full of symbols unique to the university. The ring also has some personal symbols for each owner. 

The Ring Ceremony was held Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Ring recipients were shocked by the amount of symbols in the rings.

“It feels great,” said Laken Crockett, a senior social work major. “It’s really nice, and I can’t wait until I graduate and can turn it around. I didn’t realize it had so much symbolism. I think that it’s definitely symbolism for Southeastern and all the accomplishments that I have made here. It went really good. I liked the speech. I almost cried at the home part because I definitely feel like this is my home.”

 

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The rings are the university colors. Green symbolizing new life through earning a degree and gold symbolizing endurance and education.

“It feels really awesome,” said Erin Fernandez, a senior political science major. “It’s letting me know that unfortunately the end is near, but I’m excited at the same time. I think the ceremony went really well and really smoothly.”

One side of the ring contains Friendship Oak to symbolize the life of the university with deep roots and branches spreading wisdom, as well as three columns representing the university’s three names. It also has the degree earned and the university mascot, Roomie.

“I think my ring is great,” said Charles Beemer, a senior management major. “It symbolizes a lot. I think Dr. Crain elaborated a lot on what it means. It means pride. It’s a symbol for me of the overcoming of my struggles in life.  I can say that I’m proud. I endured and I got my ring, so it’s a symbol of a lot. It feels great. To most people, it’s a short ceremony, but to me, it’s been five years. It seems like a little bit of time, but for me, its been building up. I’m definitely grateful to be here. You know, you can’t really put a word to it. It’s just a great great feeling.”

The other side has the graduation year with oak branches and leaves as well as the university’s seal and the words “Integritas,” “Fortitudo” and “Fidelitas” which are Latin for integrity, fortitude and fidelity.

“It’s a blessing,” said Will’Nesha Johnson, a senior psychology major. “Like, it’s a dream come true. I’m the first one in my family to graduate. So, it’s like a stepping stone. I think the ceremony was great. It made me shed a tear and it made me excited to graduate in 10 more days.”

Students wear the ring with the name of the university facing them until Commencement. At Commencement, the last symbol unveils when students turn their ring around to show that they are ready to face the world.

 “I thought the ceremony was well organized,” said Bryce Schell, a junior mechanical engineering major. “We were well educated beforehand, and it flowed well. It’s been a long time coming. I’m probably gonna wear this ring for forever now.”

President John L. Crain was first to congratulate students upon receiving their rings.

President John L. Crain was first to congratulate students upon receiving their rings. 
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Will’nesha Johnson a senior psychology major showcases her ring.

Will’nesha Johnson a senior psychology major showcases her ring. 
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

 

 

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