First Class Ring Returns to Campus as a Symbol of Alumni Pride
May 7, 2013
Karen Wolfe chose to return her husband's class ring (the first one issued at UT Dallas) to his alma mater.
At UT Dallas, a school young in years but rich in history, the class ring is a cherished tradition.
Jack Julius Lamb Jr. BS’90 was the recipient of the first class ring with a uniform design offered to graduates. For him, it was an outward symbol of devotion to his alma mater.
“Jack wore his ring proudly,” said his wife, Karen Wolfe. “He would tell anyone and everyone how proud he was of his university.”
After Lamb’s death in 2011, Wolfe chose to give the ring back to UT Dallas to serve as an enduring inspiration to alumni, students, friends, parents, and prospective students. The ring was officially dedicated to the University at a recent ceremony in the Visitor Center, where it will be permanently displayed with a photo and biography of Lamb, who was a graduate of the school that would later be renamed the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
“We're pleased to receive this tangible symbol of the difference education makes in a life, and to display it as a reminder to our future graduates of the extended network they will join,” said President David E. Daniel. “An education results not only from hard work and study, but also through the relationships that develop among classmates, faculty, advisors and university staff. As with this ring, we hope all those worn by our graduates are fondly held reminders of both the process and the achievement.”
Randall Mills MBA’95, past chair of the former UT Dallas Alumni Association, remembers the beginning of the ring tradition and establishing the ring ceremony in 2001. According to Mills, there was an emphatic buzz among students eager to participate.
“It was an honor to be a part of something that is now so entrenched in the University’s history,” Mills said.
The UT Dallas class ring is adorned with symbols that indicate the wearer's connections to the University, the UT System and the state of Texas.
Since that time, the ring ceremony on the University mall has exploded in popularity. More than 120 students received their UT Dallas rings in the fall; nearly 100 others will receive theirs at a ring ceremony on May 15, including some alumni who have chosen to come back to campus to participate.
“Jack loved this University,” Wolfe said. “I’m proud to know the ring will now live here, serving as a unifying symbol for the entire UT Dallas community.”
The ring is a symbol of pride and achievement worn by a graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas. The first standardized design, adopted by the former Alumni Association in 2001, features symbols of the University. The letters “UTD” on the ring top identify the wearer as a graduate. One side emphasizes the University’s Texas heritage, displaying the state flag matched with the Lone Star, crossed by the UT Dallas Comet. The degree received is also designated. The other side includes the seal of The University of Texas System with the year of UT Dallas’ founding in 1969, and the year that the wearer graduated.
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