Students participate in Senior Ring Ceremony at A&M Central Texas
By PAMELA GRANT
33 students and one legacy alumni had the honor of receiving their Warrior Ring this weekend at Texas A&M University – Central Texas 3rd Warrior Ring Ceremony Saturday in Founder’s Hall.
“The ring ceremony is getting larger and larger, and I think it will continue to grow,” said Dr. Marc Nigliazzo, University President and CEO. “It’s important to emphasize to the students that they are the heart of all of this. They are important. They are why we exist.”
The ring symbolizes the sacrifices made and the commitment made to education and the university. The ring is said to embody the warrior spirit.
“We ring folks to celebrate the ending of their journey here at A&M – Central Texas with the honoring of a ring much like you see across the rest of the A&M system,” said Paul York, Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “The ring represents more than just the institution. It also represents their journey…This is a culmination of challenges, and support, and love, headache, blood, sweat, and tears. This is their connection to that journey and to that challenge.”
York said that one of the things that makes their ring ceremony special is that they have each of the students be ringed by someone that is important to them. Some of them had husbands, wives, children, parents, and even siblings who had the honor of placing the ring on their finger.
Every student has had their own journey with their own obligations, but all of those in attendance were excited that their journey through the A&M system was coming to an end.
“It’s not been an easy journey,” said Bridget Swift of Copperas Cove. “I intended to have my bachelor’s degree in just a few short years, but with family commitments, community commitments, and just being an adult, it took a little bit longer than expected. I never stopped—as much as I might have wanted to—and now I’m almost there. This is the first step in the graduation process. It’s not been an easy one, but it’s been a rewarding one for sure.”
Swift said that she was so excited that she could cry. She said she could feel the spirit and was ready to take the next step on her journey.
Dawna Aleman and her daughter Desiree Aleman had the honor of being able to ring each other in Saturday’s ceremony.
Dawna Aleman said that she has been attending college for about 20 years on and off due to other obligations. Her daughter has attended for 3 ½ years.
“We never thought that we were going to graduate together,” said Desiree Aleman. “We never even thought that was going to be a possibility.”
“It just lined up perfectly,” said Dawna Aleman about the fact that the two will be able to graduate together.
“This whole thing has become even more emotional,” said Desiree Aleman. “I get to have her here with me through all of this.
For some of the students, the journey to get their ring was longer than others. This weekend, Steve Hanik had the honor of being the first Legacy Alumni to receive a ring.
“It took 44 years to do this, but it’s well worth it,” said Hanik.
Hanik graduated from American Technological University (ATU) in 1975 with a degree in occupational education. Hanik said that he was glad that the college honors its roots. The school would not be what it is without the schools that came before. It started as the American Technological University, before becoming the University of Central Texas, and later Tarleton State University–Central Texas, before finally becoming a part of the A&M system in 2009.
Hanik was excited to be able to finally get his first college ring and felt like, now that the school is part of the A&M system, he feels like the ring is even more important to him.