Seniors to end academic journey

John Doucet, a 1990 university graduate, poses with his daughter, Jennifer Reyes, who received her Southeastern Ring at the Ring Ceremony on May 3 in the Student Union Ballroom.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

Graduating seniors were rewarded for their hard work over the years by being awarded their Southeastern ring this past week.  

On Wednesday, May 3, the students received tangible proof for a journey they have completed.   

“I thought it was a great event,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Biggs. “It was very special for the students that must have been very excited to get the ring because they are so close to their graduation. It’s gotta be an exciting time for them.” 

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Eric Summers shared his thoughts on the ceremony and how it could improve in the future.

“I think the ring ceremony is the perfect program to remind students that their connection to the university will be lifelong,” said Summers. “In the future, you will see more of a celebratory event, more excitement.”

Biggs thought the event went smoothly but found areas to improve on.

“I thought the event was very well organized overall,” said Biggs. “It was very efficiently run and I think it made it easy for everyone who was participating. As far as changes in the future, I’ll have to work with Dr. Crain, student services and admissions to see if there’s anything that we wanna do as far as making it more fun and perhaps celebratory. I think it is important to recognize the symbolism and the importance of it but it is also a great time to celebrate the time and the students’ lives.”

The students were delighted to receive the honor.

“It feels really good,” said Jennifer Reyes, a senior biology major. “It’s a little bit more motivation to go through one more milestone before getting a degree.”

Reyes was at the event with her father, John Doucet, a 1990 university graduate. He was glad to see his daughter’s achievement.   

“I’m very proud, and I think it’s a great thing to have someone graduate behind you,” said Doucet. “It’s rewarding. I know a little bit about it ’cause I went through it. Very hard work and it was self-rewarding type of thing. She got something to go and look forward to now.” 

Bailey Adams, a senior kinesiology major is on her way to becoming first in her family to be a college graduate, and she was thrilled to be closer to achieving her objective. 

“It’s exciting,” said Adams. “Put in a lot of hard work. So, it feels like a step closer. You actually get to see your hard work pay off with some sort of item and look forward to turn it around at the graduation.”

During the event, President John L. Crain described the significance that the ring has for the university alumni. He shared the story of how he awarded alumnus Roger Wang, chairman and former chief executive officer of Golden Eagle International Group, with the ring, and Summers shared the meaning of the ring for the students.  

“As our president said in his closing remarks, the ring is a symbol,” said Summers. “It signifies an educational milestone for students. It also serves as a symbol of the pride, traditions and friendships students hold at Southeastern.”                                                

Biggs shared her thoughts on hearing about the symbolism and meaning behind the ring. She was also impressed with Wang’s story.                                                                                    

“I really enjoyed learning about the symbolism of the ring itself and how it’s tied to the university,” said Biggs. “I thought that the story that Dr. Crain shared was very touching and very inspirational. When Dr. Crain presented him with his ring several years ago, I thought that that was very nice that he was appreciative and enjoyed his time here at Southeastern even though now he’s a very successful businessman. He obviously looks back at his time at Southeastern very fondly and that’s quite impressive.” 

Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar