This new element kicks off Spring 2019 Ring Ceremonies.
For the last 20 years, the Texas Tech Alumni Association (TTAA) has hosted Official Texas Tech Class Ring Ceremonies in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. This tradition will continue again this week, with ceremonies taking place April 22-25. However, these will be unlike any other as a new element is added to the event this year.
Today (April 22), the 648 Official Class Rings set to be presented became the first to be paraded into the east Bell Tower of the Texas Tech Administration Building, where the Saddle Tramps rang the Victory Bells over the rings to honor and connect the recipients with their Texas Tech family.
"The idea of the rings being in the tower while the Victory Bells ring over them is a new level for the ring tradition," said Curt Langford, president and CEO of the TTAA. "The bells have rung for our athletic victories forever. But, when someone earns the right to wear their Texas Tech ring, that's an academic victory. So, the idea here is to have the bells ring in honor of our ring recipients."
The processional started at the bronze ring sculpture just outside of the Alumni Center, where they received a police escorted to the tower. Accompanying the rings were students and their family members, Saddle Tramps, Raider Red and TTAA team members.
Students who were on hand for the event noted how excited they were to receive their rings, but participating in this new element made the upcoming ceremonies even more special.
"The Texas Tech ring symbolizes your hard work," said Stacey Cain, a Texas Tech senior who attended the procession of the rings and will receive her ring this evening. "It symbolizes all the hard times: Crying in the library. All the stress. All the things we put ourselves through as students because, when you go through college, you're not just a student; you're a young adult. You have to fail, and you have to learn from it and then succeed. I think that's what the ring symbolizes. And I think I realize that more than ever after participating in this event."
This element now will be included in the ring tradition for years to come and will continue to draw larger numbers as people recognize the significance of having the Victory Bells chime over the rings.
"The ones who were here and saw the rings in their boxes will know where their rings were today and what happened with them," Langford said. "So, their ring ceremony experience will be extra meaningful and special. We fully anticipate, in the future, large amounts of students will want to take part in this aspect of the ring tradition."
Since 1999, the Official Texas Tech Class Ring has been a symbol of academic achievement. The ring design is reserved exclusively for individuals who have successfully met the university's standards. It is a symbol of Texas Tech tradition that is a tangible connection for those who are graduating, while the visual continuity will generate an exclusive link with graduates in years to come. To learn more about the ring, please visit texastechalumni.org/ring.