Rings, pride and memories

Zachary Araki

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Students check out their university rings as they listen to what the ring represents. Zachary Araki/The Lion's Roar

Students accepted their university rings as graduation approaches.

The “Spring Ring Ceremony” was held in the Student Union Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. 

“I always enjoy it,” said President Dr. John L. Crain. “It’s great to get to see the students and their family, and they’re always really excited to get their ring. There is a lot of symbolism as I talked about. It’s always kind of fun to talk about what the ring means and represents and just see everybody enjoy it and have a good time.”

Senior general studies major Martha Crayton recalled her experience since beginning at the university.

“When I first started out, I was a little scared, didn’t know anybody, but after I started coming back and forth, I started meeting people,” said Crayton. “I started feeling a little bit more at ease with the classes, the teachers, the instructors. I love all of them. They were always helpful. This was always a good atmosphere, and it was a good environment to come to study, to learn.”

Senior computer science major Daniela Raygadas shared her thoughts on the ceremony.

“I especially liked the things that Dr. Crain said about wearing it with pride, and I just remember all of the effort we have done,” said Raygadas. “It has been four tough years, and also I’m an athlete here. I know that whenever I look at that ring, I’m gonna remember all the memories in class, in the sport, in the court and of my team.”

Raygadas came from Mexico to study at the university.

“It means a lot being here,” said Raygadas. “My family, they want one of my dream to come to the United States and play tennis with a tennis scholarship, so this ring will mean that sense of achievement of I did it. I was able to get my dream, to reach my goal, and it will kind of remind me that I can do it, that I can achieve anything I want.”

According to Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs, almost 100 students participated in the ceremony. She shared what the ring may mean to the Alumni Association and to students.

“There’s a lot of symbolism built into the ring, and we’re very happy from the Alumni Association perspective to be able to offer that to our students,” said Biggs. “We want to make sure that they wear their ring with pride and they go out into the world and remember all their accomplishments at Southeastern.”

SGA President Richard Davis Jr. discussed the pride of wearing the university ring.

“Whenever they go into their careers and their jobs and they are able to show that they’re Southeastern alum, it’s an awesome way just to spotlight our university and highlight all of our achievements, the programs that we offer,” said Davis. “It’s a good recruiting tool as well.”

Crayton decided to get her ring as a token of the university to take with her.

“If I could tell someone or I guess give that little push to someone who’s trying to decide whether or not to come to Southeastern, I would tell them, ‘yes,’” said Crayton. “They will not be disappointed. They will not be sorry about it. It’s a good atmosphere for them to learn. There’s always someone around that they can find to help them. You’ll always find someone who’s friendly and make you feel at home while they’re here.”

Crain related his own experience getting his ring.

“I did not get a ring when I graduated,” said Crain. “We didn’t have an official ring, and I didn’t want to just buy any ring. So, I actually got my ring when I came back, and we created the relationship with Balfour and designed the Southeastern ring. So, I got mine a little bit late too, but it’s great to have it. It’s a beautiful ring, and for events like this, I always make sure I’ve got it on and wear my Southeastern ring with pride.”

Raygadas encourages people to get a university ring. 

“It’s nice to look at it and see everything you’ve completed,” said Raygadas. “We’ve all struggled through these four or five years or however long it takes you and just that sense of accomplishment, being like, ‘yeah all of the late nights, all of the hours I put into it in the library and everything, they were all worth it for this moment.’”

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