New tradition unveiled at Homecoming

The unveiling of the official Sam Houston State University class ring took place Saturday during halftime of the football game. The unveiling was the last event to take place during the Homecoming festivities during halftime.

The ring committee was on the field for the unveiling. The unveiling revealed a five-foot poster of the ring design on display. The new ring introduces a new tradition to SHSU.

The SHSU alumni association and the University Bookstore worked together to create a committee to design the ring. The committee consisted of students, faculty, staff and alumni. The committee began meeting last fall to come up with a design that would be distinct and recognized “ten feet away” as Kevin Hayes said in the original ring article in the Houstonian dated Sept. 17.

Robert Baker, a college territory manager for Balfour and Artcarved, will be on campus today with the new ring located in Austin Hall near the Dan Rather Communications Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Baker was also on campus yesterday with the new ring and at the football game on Saturday.

He explained that they have been very busy. Alumni have the option to replace their old class ring with a new one free of charge for up to a year after the unveiling. Baker said that numerous alumni took advantage of this opportunity at the game on Saturday.

“I am really excited,” said Jesse Nelson, the store manager for the University Bookstore Monday. “I think it is a great new tradition for SHSU.”

Nelson further explained that in the past few weeks as many as three dozen students a day have been coming by the bookstore inquiring about the new ring. “Today students have been steadily pouring in asking about the new ring,” Nelson said.

“The reactions have been very positive,” Nelson said, “I think students will be very happy with the ring.”

In order to purchase a ring, students must have 75 completed hours.

Baker explained that the ring, manufactured by Balfour, includes several benefits when you purchase it. Each ring includes free lifetime warranty, free cleaning and refinishing, stones may be replaced and resizing is no charge. Also, if a senior’s graduation date changes and they have already ordered a ring, Balfour will change the date for free. Balfour also includes full insurance with the ring for free for four years. Regardless if the ring was lost or stolen, students will need to fill out an affidavit stating what happened and then with a $100 deductible replace their ring.

The rings are available in yellow gold, antique gold or white gold. The price for a female 10kt. ring is $369, and the price for a male 10kt. ring is $499. Students may choose to add diamonds or cubic zirconia for an additional cost. Also, students may engrave the inside of their ring for an additional cost.

Students may pay by personal check or credit card. Students who want to purchase a ring but don’t have the money may purchase the ring in payments of five equal installments. Contact Robert Baker for more information

Seniors graduating in December may order the new class ring and it will be shipped directly to you in approximately eight weeks. Those seniors that are graduating in May or August have the opportunity to participate in the first ring ceremony to be held on April 22, 2004. The ring ceremony is another new tradition being introduced at SHSU. The ceremony will be held once a year in the spring. It will take place on the steps of Austin Hall and the pit of Old Main. The ring ceremony will be the kickoff for the 125th anniversary celebration of Sam Houston State University.

Many students were on hand Monday at Austin Hall to view the new class ring. Many students like the new design.

“I think the design is very creative,” said Jessyca Wilburn, a senior. “the ring symbolizes your college experiences and it’s something that you can take with you for the rest of your life.”

Jennifer Lee, a graduating senior, said, “I like it and I think it makes the decision process of ordering a ring a lot easier. I think it’s a good tradition.”

Heather Menzies, a senior, said, “I think it’s something I’ll always cherish- it will carry good memories.”

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