Soon to be graduates are honored with class ring at Ring Ceremony

Brianna Hawkins

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President John Crain shakes hands with alumnus John Simmons after receiving his class ring at the Fall 2017 "Ring Ceremony." 

Upcoming graduates for the Fall 2017 semester attended the “Ring Ceremony” together before graduation.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Student Union Ballroom from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Attendees came to the event to help honor and celebrate their loved ones as they prepare to face the next chapter of their lives after college.

Senior finance major Nicholas Brennan shared his thoughts about what his ring means to him.

“I thought it was a real nice ceremony,” said Brennan. “I like my ring. There’s a lot of hard work. I’ve been on the President’s List since the third semester I’ve been here. My overall GPA is a 3.8. So, it’s nice to get a little token for that.”

Senior early childhood education major Karina Garcia described her happiness from receiving her ring and completing senior year.

“I feel happy and I feel I have pride in my ring,” said Garcia. “All my hard work is represented in this ring. It’s been really rough, but I’m glad that I finally made it to the end.”

Senior communication major Jamon Kelson expressed his journey as something that has been delayed for quite some time now.

“I feel like it’s been long overdue,” said Kelson. “It’s been tough, but I pushed through it. But it was worth it in the end, especially because I made it through 498. I’m just happy to be done.”

Senior history major Brody Simmons shared his moment with his grandfather, Alumnus John Simmons.

John Simmons graduated from the university 49 years ago but lost his class ring. When the university realized that in 2018, it would be 50 years since John Simmons’ graduated and his grandson almost graduated 50 years apart from each other, they decided to let John Simmons participate in the Ring Ceremony where he proudly stood next to his grandson.

“I’m excited for him because he got his ring stolen a long time ago,” said Brody Simmons.

John Simmons has nothing but pride in what his grandson can accomplish.

“I’m proud of him,” said John Simmons. “He’s gone straight and plans to work on his master’s next year.”

University President John L. Crain described how he felt about this outcome of the event.

“I think it’s really a happy occasion,” said Crain. “It’s a little bit like how I feel about commencement. This is kind of like pre-commencement. You know, the ring is an important part of all that, but the most important part is getting the diploma. But it’s the same sort of happy, joyous, hopeful feeling. So, I liked the event and I like the opportunity.”

When asked about his experience of getting his ring, Crain said there was no “Ring Ceremony” when he graduated.

“We started this probably about 12 to 15 years ago,” said Crain. “And before that you could buy a ring, you just had to go make one up and order it. So, we didn’t have an official Southeastern ring and Ring Ceremony until we started this those years ago. So, I didn’t get this until I came back as an administrator.

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