Taking another step towards graduation

For some, the Ring Ceremony signifies the end of their college career and the beginning of their professional life. Others take this time to reflect on the experiences they have had throughout college and remember how they have shaped their lives thus far.

The Ring Ceremony program began at 7 p.m. inside of the Student Union Theater on Wednesday of last week. Each attendee was able to watch as graduates were presented with the official Southeastern ring, which symbolizes the rich tradition from its humble beginnings to its current form. Students spoke of the ceremony, holding it special for them and their families.

“It was a nice experience, the first time I’ve ever been to one,” said Shannon Brown, graduating with a degree in criminal justice.  “I’m so excited about graduating.  I’m so ready.”

Another graduate, Taberance Wilson, had some of her family present, including her father, Huston, a graduate from the class of 1977.

“It’s like father, like daughter,” said Wilson.  “I’m following in his footsteps.”

Some graduates expressed their feelings on graduating and the future that awaits them. Aeriel Robinson, graduating with a degree in criminal justice, works for the University Police Department and doesn’t quite know what the future will hold.

“Very liberating, but at the same time a little terrifying,” said Robinson.  “On the one hand, it feels liberating because I have free range to choose what I want to do with my life, but it’s terrifying because I really don’t know what is going to happen.  But overall, I’m really happy.”

During the ceremony, President John L. Crain spoke on what the Southeastern ring represents, expressing that it is pride not only in the university but in the students’ accomplishments.

“These Southeastern rings really represent pride,” said Crain.  “This is pride not just in the university and your degree, but pride in yourself for all of the hard work and dedication you have put forth and will continue to put forth after you have walked across the stage for commencement as you receives those degrees and I get to shake your hand again.”

Dr. Joe Burns was the master of ceremonies with Ms. Denise Plessala of the Balfour Corporation as a special presenter.  The closing remarks were given by Jim McHodgkins, assistant vice president for student affairs. Before the presentation closed, Julie Perise led the graduates in the singing of the Alma Mater.

For more information on the official Southeastern ring, visit the Southeastern Alumni Association’s website by clicking their name under the quick links tab.