Seniors receive symbol of success

girls view rings

Brittney Albert and Valarie Aucoin (below) are admiring their rings as they listen
to closing remarks at the ring ceremony.  
The Lion’s Roar / Tamara Alexander

While most are looking forward to a holiday break before next semester, some are about to end one journey and embark into the world of new jobs and adventures. 

To commemorate graduation further, over 100 seniors received a Southeastern ring at the ring ceremony Thursday, Dec. 4 in the Student Union Theatre.

The ring itself reinforces the new journey seniors are about to undertake.  It is designed with well-known school symbols such as Friendship Oak, whose branches symbolize wisdom the graduates spread through the world.

Southeastern’s colors highlight the ring with gold representing value, endurance and education and green symbolizing the new life that comes from earning a degree.

One side of the ring displays an image of the Friendship Oak, Roomie the Lion and three columns. The opposite side displays the graduation year with oak branches and leaves around it and Southeastern’s seal.

While many seniors do not choose to receive a ring, those who do did so to remember their hard work and great memories.

“I want the memory of the hard work, experience and the determination,” said Jacob Ruiz, who will graduate in engineering technology. “I put so much into school and now I finally finished. I really like [the ring], I love the color, I love [the] style. I love everything.”

Along with all the experience gained during school, friendships and memories were made.

“I chose it because I wanted to be reminded of all the wonderful times I’ve had at Southeastern,” said Barbara Fandal, who will graduate in communication and chose to receive a pendant instead of a ring. “[I love] the friendly atmosphere. People are welcoming. They’re kind. They will help you out in a jam. It’s a home away from home.”

The ring will serve as a reminder of all gained for many graduates as they begin a new chapter in their lives. 

Excitement for the future was visible among seniors as they spoke of their next steps.

“I’m really excited. Everything’s going to work out. I know there are undergraduates and I’m going to tell them the same thing I’ve been told all the time. ‘Keep going. You can do it,’” said Fandal. “I’m going to work for a distribution factory and then I’m going to work my way up from there.” 

Others are planning to continue on to graduate school after graduation.

“It’s amazing, I can’t wait to start,” said Robert Pecarrere, who will graduate in communication.  “[I’m excited for] all of the opportunities that have been opened to me since so many careers now require a college degree. That degree really opens my door. I have plans to attend law school and hopefully become a prominent lawyer.”

No matter what the future brings for the many soon-to-be graduates, the ring of Southeastern will remain as a symbol of the years spent here.

For now, students will wear the ring with the school name facing them.  At commencement, the new graduates will turn the ring so the name faces outward. This symbolizes the readiness to take on the world around them as they move forward in life.