It is without question that you have heard of the “Aggie Ring”. Potentially you heard of this infamous tradition through a friend, family member, orientation, Grad Camp, marketing information or you’ve attended a ring ceremony with someone special. The picture above is myself with many of my graduate student friends who wear their alumni rings as symbolism for the time dedicated and passion for that University. In a matter of time, each of those Aggies will each be wearing their own
So you may ask, “What is so special about the Aggie
ring”? The oldest known Aggie Ring is from 1889, yet since the early 1900’s, the Aggie Ring has held its symbolistic design that you will see today (More information: https://www.aggienetwork.com/ring/history.aspx
) . With delivery of over 13,000 students annually, it is one of the most treasured items that an Aggie possesses. Its unique design that has remained constant for decades, allows Aggies around the world to recognize each other. On the very front of the ring is an eagle with a shield,”the five stars in the shield refer to phases of development of the student: mind or intellect, body, spiritual attainment, emotional poise, and integrity of character.” It is symbols such as that which make up the Aggie ring and its symbolic value.
Requirements for the Aggie ring for graduate students are different than an undergraduate student. For a Master’s thesis student, you must defend your thesis. For a non-thesis Master’s student, you must complete 75% of your coursework. Lastly, for a doctoral student you must be admitted into candidacy meaning you must have had your preliminary exams completed and your proposal on file. (More information: https://www.aggienetwork.com/ring/eligibility/
When ordering your ring, it is quick, it almost feels like it’s not even special. You go in, try on a ring and then place your order. If you are limited on funds, look to apply to the Aggie Ring Scholarship (https://www.aggienetwork.com/aggie-ring-scholarship.aspx
) found in the TAMU scholarship every year in February. This symbolic piece of gold will remain with you for the rest of your life, it is worth the investment :).
When it comes to Ring Day, it is unreal! You wait in line with other anxious Aggies ready to be presented with your ring. You are surrounded by friends and family who have supported you through your graduate journey (often a tough one). You have finally made it and you have the ring to show for it. You can now proudly wear this ring and hopefully run into other Aggies in Texas and around the world.
So now you may be wondering, what about a Ring Dunk? This is optional and not promoted by the University, it is a tradition that some Aggies do on their own time. The Ring Dunk is a time to gather with close friends and “earn” your ring. To put it nicely, you’ve already earned your ring, there is no need for a dunk. However, if you wish to go this route. The basics are that each person who received a Ring on Ring Day at that time, purchases a pitcher and fills it with their favorite beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and drops their ring at the bottom. The goal is to drink your pitcher until you catch your Aggie Ring and that is the moment that you’ve earned the ring.
In the end, the Aggie Ring is a token that you will wear proudly for the remainder of your life. It is worth the investment to purchase an Aggie Ring, who knows maybe one day it will be the talking point to your new future job!
Thanks and Gig’em,
Kristen Hicks MS, RD, LD, PhD Candidate | Nutrition and Food Science
is a PhD Candidate and Registered Dietitian in BCS who aspires to improve the health of all Americans.