Alumni, Students Rejoice, Reflect at University Ring Ceremony

  • Finance senior Andrew Swanson said his achievements are not just his. He thanked his friends, family and the University for helping him along the way to graduation.

Taking part in a cherished campus tradition, UT Dallas students thanked family, friends and other supporters as they received their class rings and participated in the ring-dunking ritual in December.

Standing at the podium during the biannual Ring Ceremony, Sheena Earvin BS’17 shared how her UT Dallas experience was coming full circle, with fall commencement approaching.

“I started orientation in this very room, a scared transfer student, someone who thought that college wasn’t in the stars for me,” she said.

Kelsey Noren, a senior studying human resource management in the Naveen Jindal School of Managementnoted a feeling of accomplishment.

“This journey has been so long, but I can see the finish line,” she said. 

Ring Days

UTD class ring in moon dust

This next Ring Ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 8. Undergraduate students with 75-plus hours and graduate students with 15-plus hours are eligible to purchase UT Dallas rings. To learn more and order rings, students can attend Spring Ring Days on March 20-21 at the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center.

Recipients recognized and thanked those who had supported their academic journey, including teammates and roommates, parents and siblings, professors and deans.

“My achievements are not my own,” said Andrew Swanson, a senior finance student in the Jindal School and a McDermott Scholar. “They belong to my family who has pushed me this far. They belong to my friends who have supported me throughout the thick and thin of college. They belong to the faculty and staff who have guided me.”

“All I can say is thank you very much in multiple languages,” said Dennis Gonzaga BS’15, MS’17 before expressing his gratitude in a handful of dialects, including his native tongue, Filipino.

Featured alumni speaker Michelle Miller MS’05, MBA’15 encouraged ring recipients to hold on to the experiences earned as University students.

“UT Dallas is an amazing school that will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Miller, research operations manager for CBRE’s Texas and Oklahoma region. “I hope your ring reminds you for years to come of the important relationships you have made with your classmates, your professors and, most importantly, yourself.”

The UT Dallas Ring Ceremony is a unique reflection of the University's history. On the eve of the ceremony, the rings are enclosed with equipment used in space provided by Dr. John Hoffman, physics professor emeritus, in a box that Dr. James Carter, geosciences professor emeritus, built using wood sourced from the original Founders Building.

The rings are surrounded by Carter’s lunar regolith simulant, or fake moon dirt, before spending the night in the office of the president. Carter, the world’s foremost expert 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 has been used in attempts to detect water on Mars.

After the presentation of the rings, ceremony participants adjourned to the reflecting pools on the mall to take part in the traditional dunking of the rings, ceremoniously covering themselves with UT Dallas water and University pride.

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