COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — One of the most anticipated events of the year for Texas A&M students is just around the corner.
Ring Day is special to so many, and the Association of Former Students is prepping for their next big day.
The Association of Former Students has three rings days every year, with their April Ring Day traditionally being their largest.
Officials are expecting around 6,400 students to pick up rings this upcoming Ring Day in April.
"We have actually expanded Ring Day to three and a half days this April so we can do an in-person delivery," said Kathryn Greenwade, Vice President of Communications and Human Resources for the Association of Former Students said.
Managing the number of people coming in to the building at any given time, each student can bring in two guests to celebrate this moment, a moment well-earned.
"It's a shared experience. It's something you share with your family. It's something you share with the people who have been on this journey with you as students. It was important to us to be able to resume Ring Day as quickly as we could. We were able to start back with in-person delivery last September. We are pleased, with modifications, that we are able to do this," Greenwade said.
Celebrating an Aggie milestone the way it should be celebrated is a moment in time Tanner Miller '22 has been waiting for.
"I am an only child. Both my parents are Aggies. They both have rings. A few years ago when I got accepted to A&M, I was really looking forward to coming here and getting the full college experience, and the ring was definitely one of the most exciting things about this journey," he said, "It's crazy, I am already three-fourths of the way done. Getting to wear that ring my whole life has been a lifelong dream since I was little watching Aggie Football games."
In a few short weeks, Miller will complete his Aggie family of three, who will soon all sport an Aggie ring. He says there's only one time where he could even think about taking it off.
"All three of us will be able to wear it every day... The only time I will ever take it off will be back home on the ranch so I don't lose a finger, but yeah it will be super special to wear it everyday and remember everyday how special it was getting to go to college here," Miller added.
Greenwade says there is a light at the end of the tunnel and they don't want to do anything to dim it. She says even in the time of a pandemic, Aggie traditions continue.
In accordance with protocols currently in place at Texas A&M, Greenwade says masks will be required. She says ring stations will be spaced appropriately apart, and the event will take place in accordance with the appropriate safety protocols.
"I think it's celebrations like this that help to give our lives meaning, and if we don't take the time to celebrate and acknowledge accomplishments like this, then life becomes mundane. It's important we take time, we celebrate and we recognize important milestones like this," Greenwade added.
Last year, the April Ring Day was the most affected by the pandemic as they were unable to hold an in-person delivery. The Association had to ship around 6,500 rings to students during that time.
In September 2020, they returned to in-person delivery with only the student receiving the ring in the building, and in November, they allowed two guests to join in on the celebration.
Greenwade says to be eligible to order an Aggie ring, students must complete 90 hours, with at least 45 hours coming from Texas A&M. Students receiving rings this April qualified at the end of the fall semester and ordered their rings during a six to seven week period in January and February, which was interrupted twice by snow.