September 17, 2014
Tears, Well Whooshes Fill Ring Ceremony as Bond's Circle Grows
May 23, 2014
Students dunk their rings in the reflecting pool on the University mall during last week’s ceremony.
On the eve of spring graduation, more than 100 students slipped on new UT Dallas class rings during a ceremony with family and friends.
During the ceremony, some participants made emotional speeches to the crowd.
First came the shoutouts to those who have supported them: moms, dads, siblings, sorority sisters and fraternity brothers, higher powers, spouses and children. Then came stories of college degrees hard won. A single mom of five. Several first-generation graduates. A young man who came to the University from Mexico, not understanding a word of English.
For all of them, the rings serve as a tangible reminder of the bond between alumni and the University that shaped their futures.
“I have to thank the University for taking me in and making me a better person,” said Mario Moreno, who plans to graduate with a bachelor's degree in marketing in December.
Since it began in 2001, the ring ceremony has evolved into a rite of passage for many Comets. Among family and friends, students ceremonially dunk their rings in the reflecting pool on the University mall.
Alumnus Raj Shah returned to campus with his parents so he could participate in the ritual. “It truly is an honor and distinction to wear this ring,” Shah said.
UT Dallas’ standardized ring design, adopted by the former Alumni Association in 2001, features symbols of the University.
The letters “UTD” on the top of the ring identify the wearer as a graduate. One side emphasizes the University’s Texas heritage, displaying the state flag matched with a lone star and crossed by the UT Dallas Comet. The degree received is also designated. The other side includes the seal of The University of Texas System, the year of UT Dallas’ founding, 1969, and the year of the wearer’s graduation.