Graduates come full circle with ring ceremony

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Ring Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. Seniors receiving their graduation rings were honored at the event, with their families in attendance at the Student Union Theater.

The ring given to the graduating seniors stands for the history and tradition of Southeastern. Each color holds a different meaning: gold for the value of education and green for the new beginnings after graduation. Images of Roomie, the Friendship Oak, the degree earned and three columns representing the university’s three names can be found on one side of the ring. On the other, Southeastern’s seal and the graduation year of the student, surrounded by oak branches, can be seen.

Dr. Joe Burns from the communication department opened the program, followed by words of welcome from Jonathan Ambrose on behalf of the University. On hand to help give out the boxes containing the rings were Denise Plessala, from Balfour Corporation, and Student Government Association President Luke Holloway. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tammy Bourg, then presented the students their rings.

Before opening their boxes, the students and others attending were given a description of the ring by Holloway and Director for Alumni Relations Kathy Pittman. A new tradition will be started at this spring’s graduation, where students who have a ring will be asked to turn them to face outward, meant to describe the graduates facing the world. In closing, Bourg congratulated those receiving their rings.

“As you wear your ring over the years, wear it with pride,” said Bourg, “and remember the pervasive traditions of caring and excellence that characterize Southeastern and your journey in success. I truly do wish you the best.”

As Bourg closed, Julie Perise, from the Southeastern Alumni Association, sang Southeastern’s alma mater. A reception was held outside of the theater, with refreshments hosted by Phi Mu. Students stayed to take photos with friends and family, as well as share congratulations with others.

“Southeastern has helped me grow, become a mature person that I am, and I am thankful that I chose Southeastern,” said Abbie Freeman, a general education major.

“It’s been a long road,” said Hope Johnson, a general studies major. “I’m just happy that I’m getting ready to start over and embarking on new career opportunities”

Others enjoyed the program that focused on the university and the relationships that it creates for students as they attend school.

“I liked that they talked about Southeastern being a community, a family, and they really talked about the closeness and the school’s excellence,” said Ashley Posey, an education major. The students also loved the rings and thought it brought the best out of Southeastern.

“It really gives you a sense of pride along with the university,” said Posey.