Spring Ring Ceremony and Graduate Farewell Celebrate Graduating Seniors
It began with an inspiration and grew to a tradition. The University of Arkansas Official Ring embodies the tradition of this great university and symbolizes the achievements and shared experiences of its graduates. Seniors who purchased the official ring are invited to participate in the Spring Ring Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House.
The ceremony will be followed by the Graduate Farewell reception at 5:30 p.m. All seniors and their friends and families are invited to the reception. During the event, seniors can sign the Senior Walk banner, stop by the photo booth, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cake and a special toast to graduates. The first 250 students who check in at the reception will also receive a free Razorback Tervis Tumbler courtesy of Bank of America.
While the Graduate Farewell reception is just in its second year, the official ring tradition began in 2002. A committee of students, alumni, faculty and administrators joined together for the common goal of developing this new tradition. This dedicated group devoted more than a year to forming the principles of the tradition and designing the ring. After careful consideration, Jostens was selected to create the ring from the committee’s design and to produce the ring for the university. The official ring conveys the University of Arkansas journey from the beginning to the end and beyond.
The north tower of Old Main serves as the central point of the ring bezel and stands as our “Beacon of Hope,” as sung in the Alma Mater. As in life, “The University of Arkansas” surrounds Old Main and the date of 1871 is a reminder of the date the doors opened.
The academic side of the ring combines the rich and sometimes subtle history of the University with the new history each graduate makes. Worn closest to the heart of our graduates, it represents the academic prowess of the university.
The class of 1876 is the first class to have their names permanently etched on our campus sidewalks, and so represents the beginning of our oldest tradition. Senior Walk is the culmination of a degree from the University of Arkansas. The score lines on Senior Walk represent the many names of the graduates.
Watching over those who travel the walk is the original mascot of the University. Perched in the trees outside Old Main, the cardinal reminds us of our first athletic mascot, changed by a vote of the student body to the Razorback in 1910.
The maple leaves on the Walk are reminiscent of a familiar campus scene when many are seen brushing aside the fall foliage to search for their names or those of friends and loved ones. Senior Walk does not end beyond Old Main. As on campus, it wraps around the ring symbolizing how we look to the future and hold a place for those who will follow us.
As the academic side wraps to the spirit side, the distinctive Razorback ridge appears. The Razorback ridge is symbolic of how academics and athletics complement each other in every student’s experience at the university. The base of this side, acorns and oak leaves, taken from our university seal, are symbolic of strength, pride, longevity and renewal. The classic running Razorback jumping through the “A” reminds us of our strong athletic traditions. The oak leaves morph into many hands, highlighting campus diversity and the truly unique tradition of “Calling the Hogs!”
Tammy Tucker, director of communications
Arkansas Alumni Association
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