Rings, Sentiments at Ceremony a Reflection of Dedication to Education

  • Dr. Andrew Blanchard (left), dean of undergraduate education and Mary McDermott Cook Distinguished Chair for Undergraduate Education and Research, presented a ring to Angelica Barriga BS'03, MBA'08 who recently established the Angelica Barriga Scholarship to support undergraduates in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

While the thanks and gratitude came in multiple languages, a resounding message was delivered by UT Dallas ring recipients at a recent ceremony: The support of family, friends, classmates, and University faculty and staff is crucial to reaching the graduation milestone.

Graduating with a master’s degree in fine arts, Wesley Ferguson BA’09 acknowledged his mother, thanking her for being present throughout his academic journey and for reminding him to “pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and keep going” when things became challenging.

Pamela Foster Brady EMBA’11, director of UT Dallas’ Executive MBA program, earned her degree through the program four years earlier. However, she opted to defer wearing a UT Dallas ring until she could share the occasion with the first class of students she recruited and guided through their entire EMBA experiences.

“I’m excited to be a part of their celebration,” Brady said. “You’re never too old to go back to school.”

After accepting their rings, recipients donned the new hardware and ceremoniously dipped their hands in water from a campus reflecting pool, thus covering the ring and the recipient with UT Dallas pride.

“I’m the first generation in my family (to graduate), so it gives me great pride to be standing here today,” said Jacqueline Monge, who earned a bachelor’s degree in child learning and development. “To my younger brothers … I want to see you guys standing up here one day, too.”


UT Dallas’ new Order of the Engineer chapter hosted an induction ceremony for students graduating with engineering degrees from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Participants pledged to adhere to ethical engineering practices before accepting a commemorative ring.

Initiated after a Canadian bridge collapse in 1922, this ritual serves as a reminder to engineers of the importance and consequences of their work.

For 15 years, University graduates have gathered for the presentation of the UT Dallas rings — an outward manifestation of years of work and dedication. On the eve of the spring ceremony, President David E. Daniel and mascot Temoc assisted with a new ritual acknowledging the University’s institutional history. The rings were enclosed with equipment used in space provided by physics professor Dr. John Hoffman, in a box that geosciences professor emeritus Dr. James Carter built using wood sourced from the original Founders Building. The rings were then surrounded by Carter’s lunar regolith simulant, or fake moon dirt, before spending the night in the office of the president.

Carter, one of the world’s foremost experts on simulated moon dirt, created a process for manufacturing the fake variety after the first trip to the moon. Hoffman developed equipment that more recently enabled the detection of water on Mars.

“You can achieve whatever you set your mind to,” said business administration senior Genelly Ramos, who dedicated her ring to her daughter.

Find out more about UT Dallas rings, and see how the ring is made. Or view more photos from the ceremony.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].