Graduates receive class rings

Students looking to turn the corner on their college career gained another item, something a little bit smaller, but nonetheless significant.
Southeastern’s Ring Ceremony, held by the Alumni Association, presented graduating seniors with their rings, which they will be able to turn as they graduate on May 18.
“It’s a tradition for Southeastern, and we started it in 2006,” said Kathy Pittman, director of the Alumni Association. “It’s really neat because before that, we really didn’t have a tradition.”
President John L. Crain and SGA President Greg Crovetto handed the rings to each senior. After every attending senior was given their ring, the students placed their rings on their fingers, waiting until commencement to turn them.
Students after the ceremony gathered in the theater lobby to celebrate with family and friends. Leslie Tassin relished in the fact that she was graduating, and took relief in the ceremony, saying she will wear the ring every day. Others shared the feeling, grateful to continue the ring’s tradition.
“I feel very honored to be a part of the tradition, keeping Southeastern’s legacy alive, and I do have a new sense of pride in my school,” said Maria Richardson, graduating in social work. “I’m wearing this sucker every day.”
While most students receiving their rings are of the traditional archetype, Southeastern hall-of-famer William Ladner has waited quite some time to receive his ring – 51 years to be exact.
“I was an All-American in football and also baseball when I was here in 1961,” said Ladner. “My last year was 1962. It’s been a while, obviously. I’m honestly tickled to death because it’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life but when you get married and have a career a lot of things like this get put on the back burner, but now I’m retired. I have an empty nest and I have a lot of supportive people; a lot of them are here at Southeastern. So here I am graduating May 18.”
Ladner spoke of how the campus has changed in more than 50 years and the feeling of finally receiving his degree.
“Well, actually I did have a ring, but I lost it in 1962. But right now it’s a great feeling. It’s something that was left undone that’s been completed now; well, not quite, I have to get that piece of paper first. But it’s a different university and the campus is bigger. We had 3,600 students when I was here; I think we’re up to 15,000 now, but it’s a super nice place. And actually if there’s such a thing as a student having a good time, I am, with the exception of one of my courses, because I still have to take the final. I’m going to pass it but it’s been tough.”
Despite his age, Ladner did not feel any different than those around him at the Ring Ceremony.
“I mean honestly even with my age, I didn’t feel a whole lot different than any of those guys. I mean it was great. It really was.”
Commencement will take place May 18, 2013 at the University Center located on North Campus.