The Maverick Ring Ceremony is an important milestone in a student’s academic career. It is an opportunity to reflect on their time at the University of Texas at Arlington; an occasion to not only remember the good times they had these past years with classmates and fellow Mavericks but also to remember those who assisted them in surmounting obstacles and those who stood by them as they faced challenges. This is a rare moment in time when a soon-to-be graduate can take stock of all that they’ve done and assess what they might still want to complete in the last few days as a student at UTA.
This is an important tradition at UTA – receiving the ring, rubbing the head of the bust of Hereford for luck as one walks off the stage, and then putting on the ring for the first time. I thoroughly enjoy the excitement and anticipation on each student’s face, and even more so on the faces of the parents, grandparents, spouses, significant others, children and other family and friends who come to share in this momentous occasion. This ceremony is very much a celebration of diligence, determination, sacrifice, and self-discovery. As students slip their rings on for the first time, they glow with pride (and perhaps a good measure of relief!) as they anticipate their launch into the world as newly minted graduates. There is no shortage of smiles and a few tears of joy. Hugs abound.
Receiving a UTA Maverick ring marks a time where the past, present and the future all come together – a joyous and yet solemn occasion – the beginning of the important transition from student to alumnus – one that starts at the ring ceremony and ends when students ceremonially walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, and then turn the ring around to signify the culmination of that ceremony. It’s a happy ending to their college experience, as each student leaves at the end of the Ring Ceremony, their eyes are not on the past but looking out toward the horizon – on what comes next. Each person’s story leading up to this point is unique; and each dream of the future will be different. But each of those dreams will be built on the achievement of a college degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. I am so proud of each graduate and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!