Go bling with a Rice Ring and make a lifelong connection with Rice
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 22:10
The Rice Ring is a tradition almost as old as the university itself. Created in 1916 and fully designed by students, the Rice Ring underwent one more change in 1917 before being finalized in 1918. The ring remained unchanged until last year, when the first ring committee and the Association of Rice Alumni voted to add the option of engraved college crests on the interior face of the ring. The Rice Ring now fully represents the complete Rice experience: the loyalty we all have to our respective colleges, our graduation year and the pride we feel for our university as a whole. The Rice Ring is our lifelong connection to the university that has given us all so much, and the physical representation of the blood, sweat and tears we all have put in during our time at Rice.
In recent years, Rice has had poor participation when it comes to ring sales, especially compared to other universities. However, over the past two years, a campus-wide ring committee has been formed to renew the tradition, and increase both sales and visibility of the Rice Ring. This spring, for the first time, there will be a campus-wide Ring Celebration held to celebrate the tradition of carrying a Rice Ring in this Centennial year. Details are still being finalized, but the event will be similar in format to the Senior Toast: a sophisticated event where you will receive your ring and celebrate four years of hard work at Rice. The ring committee and the Office of Alumni Affairs are working hard to put on a great event that is commensurate with the prestige of earning a Rice Ring. In addition to the Ring Celebration, the ring allows access to the alumni tent during Beer Bike and Homecoming, and there is a program in the works that is similar to the Hedgehopper program, where alumni wearing their Rice Ring will receive discounts around Houston.
A common question the ring committee has received is, “Why should I buy a ring?” The simple answer is because it looks so darn sexy. But on a more serious note, the ring is easily recognized by alumni, and I personally have made several connections with alumni wearing their rings this semester, including someone interviewing me for a job. The Rice alumni network grows larger every year, and the more alumni wearing rings, the more visibility Rice has around the world. The Rice Ring represents a potential connection made in a Houston coffee shop or an airport in Europe. Rice alumni are spread across the world doing incredible things, and a Rice Ring is the easiest way to recognize and connect with a fellow Owl.
Rings can be purchased at the bookstore at any time, but representatives from Balfour, the exclusive Rice Ring company, will be in the student center from Oct. 30 - Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Rings are available in a variety of sizes and metals, including the new and considerably cheaper celestrium (stainless steel) and sterling silver options. Interest-free payment plans are available in order to ease the cost of buying a ring.
Graduating from Rice is a huge accomplishment and purchasing a Rice Ring is a great way to commemorate your hard work and dedication. On a final note, during Commencement, when President David Leebron asks the seniors to turn their rings to face the outside world, we will all know that our time at Rice has come to an end. However, wearing the Rice Ring is a constant reminder of the unforgettable memories we all have made here and how our time at Rice will continue to influence the rest of our lives.
Zack Panos is a Hanszen college senior.