In conjunction with class ring sales in the Fiesta Room for eligible juniors and seniors, three Trinity students won the annual ring scholarship, which goes toward the cost of their class rings.
The class rings are available to purchase by students with over 73 credit hours. Available in a variety of metals and styles, the rings start from $360 and rise in price depending on metal and possible additions.
According to Mary Kay Cooper, Director of Alumni Relations,, the rings bind past, present and future Trinity students.
“The rings are the one common bond between those who have graduated in the past and those who will graduate this year and in years to come,” Cooper said.
This personal connection is recognized by many, including first place ring scholarship recipient Tyler Howard, junior.
“Receiving a Trinity ring after three to four years of hard work at this academically rigorous institution, and having a physical reminder on your hand that you’ve committed to continuing your education into whatever comes after Trinity is an emotional prospect for everyone involved,” Howard said.
Howard along with seniors Kylie Hornbeck and Pablo Tarquino, who tied for second place, submitted essays to the contest about what the Trinity Ring means to them. Their winning essays were chosen by the Student Affairs Committee of the National Alumni Board, who is responsible for the contributions that make up the scholarships.
To Christine Martinez, Young Alumni and Student Programs Coordinator, all of the essays submitted were great reflections on the student’s time here and what it meant to them to wear and own these rings.
“Someone may talk about their lifelong struggle of even coming to Trinity, others are more about memories while attending Trinity, so that is a really personal message for many,” Martinez said.
With close voting and consistent outstanding submissions, the board has considered some changes over the past few years. Allowing for three winners overall was one such change that the board elected to make last year.
“Over the years we’ve had many different stories,” Martinez said. “In the past it was only one winner; last year was the only year we did first, second and third. It was getting very hard to choose among all of them.”
Although not everyone buying a ring participated in the contest, the idea for the importance of the rings and their meaning resonated with many students.
“By putting on those rings, we’re committing to ourselves and to each other that we will remember the lessons we’ve learned from our professors and our peers and that we will continue Trinity’s legacy into our future endeavors,” Howard said.
The ring ceremony, taking place on March 29th in Parker Chapel, allows all three winners to read their stories aloud, a university tradition prior to graduation and the beginning of a new chapter for the graduating class.
According to Balfour, the rings are symbolic of this transition, “upon their commencement, [students] turn the ring around, with the name facing outward. This symbolizes that the graduate is now ready to face the world.”
While just a piece of metal to some, the rings represent a lot more to soon-to-be graduates as well as those who may come after.
“My peers and mentors at Trinity have been such an important part of my life for three years now,” Howard said. “I know my ring will remind me of my Trinity family doing amazing things across the globe, whether it be next semester or 80 years from now.”
Rings are also available for purchase via the Balfour website.