Put a Ring On It: Is the Aggie Ring for Graduate Students?

    Posted on Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016
    I had heard about the Aggie Ring since before I was a student at Texas A&M University. During my ‘prospective student’ campus tour, the guide talked about the RING and the symbolisms it held within the Aggie community. I remember thinking that because I hadn’t completed my undergraduate training here, and didn’t really know about the traditions and rich history of the university I probably wouldn’t get an Aggie ring when the time came.

    ….Fast forward to summer of 2016 and its time to make the decision: To ring or not to ring?! Over the last four years I flipped-flopped many times about the decision to order the Aggie gold. I was on the fence for a long time about whether to order the ring because I think graduate students sometime feel ‘left out of the loop’ when it comes to traditions and spirited ceremonies around campus.

    Many of us come from other institutions, states, and countries to attend TAMU for graduate studies and we haven’t experienced traditions beginning in undergraduate education, like the ones so beloved here at TAMU. But, I would challenge you to reflect on your experiences at TAMU to date and think about what events you’ve been a part of which have integrated the university’s traditions and unwavering spirit. I hope at some point in your time at TAMU you’ve felt one, if not all of the Aggie values and spirit the university holds so dear.  

    So what about the ring? Well….I took the plunge and ordered my Aggie ring one hot summer morning in August and on November 5, 2016 I was presented my own Aggie gold from a Fightin’ Texas Aggie, Class of 1968! Experiencing the ring ceremony and seeing peers and family members embrace over this time-honored tradition was a TAMU memory I will not forget!

    Since getting my Aggie ring I have made 2 professional connections (one traveling on an airplane and another over a conference call) in which former students saw or heard about my Aggie ring experience and offered to connect me with high-level professionals in my field. The Aggie network is real!

    As the Association of Former Students says, the Aggie Ring is the most visible symbol of the Aggie Network which connects Aggies around the world. As graduation and job searching is mine and many other graduate students’ horizons, I believe the Aggie Ring will help connect us to influential people and places, while also connecting us to a friendly face who has shared in a common experience, value, and spirit which can ne’er be told at Texas A&M University.

    Gig ‘em!

    Leigh Szucs | Health and Kinesiology

    Leigh is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, pursuing a doctoral degree in Health Education. Her research and teaching experiences focus on the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention program (TPP) implementation practices among curriculum-based intervention models.

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