396 students received their Sam Houston State University class rings, last Thursday, continuing a long campus tradition.
The ring was designed for the 125th anniversary of the university in 2004, and began a new tradition among Sam students.
Each ring features “SH” on the top set upon a star and surrounded by the words Sam Houston State University, and can be decorated with diamonds. One side of the ring has an engraved recreation of Austin Hall with “SHSU” underneath, and the other side depicts Sam Houston with the university’s founding year “1879” and the student’s graduation year.
Engraved inside the ring is the word “HONOR”. In 1813, Sam Houston joined the United States Army. His mother, very understanding of her son’s decision, gave him two things.
First was a musket, and she said, “Never disgrace it: for remember I had rather all my sons should fill one honorable grave, than one of them should turn his back to save his life. While the door to my cottage is open to brave men, it is eternally shut to cowards.”
Second, she put a small gold band on his finger with a simple inscription, “HONOR.”
The ceremony was held on the lawn in front of Austin Hall, the university’s first building.
Dustin Levien, an English department ring recipient for the 2009 school year said, “It surprised me how much history I didn’t know about the campus, and I really enjoyed getting that background from Dr. Gaertner.”
Levien and the other upperclassmen wear the ring with the school name facing them. When they graduate they will turn the ring ,with the name facing outward to represent that they are ready to face the world.
“It is an honor to wear a symbol of achievement for something I have been working so hard for, and something that will stand out to other Sam Houston graduates,” said Levien. “I was proud to be sitting there with fellow Bearkats celebrating an important milestone in our lives.”