Posted on Wednesday, Jul 22, 2020
It has a few scratches and scrapes, and I had to have it resized a few years back, but it still looks amazing on my finger. It’s one of the things we as Aggies are most proud of, the moment we receive our Aggie Ring.
The ring carries different meanings to those who possess one. Just ask any Aggie what it feels like when you don’t know where it is or have had the misfortune of losing it or having had it stolen, the loss is great. Besides the obvious of doing what was necessary to apply for my ring, and then being able to show it off with the crest facing outward at graduation, its significance is much more to me. I wear it every day without fail. If you think that’s crazy, my wife will confirm it. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or where I’m going. And here’s why this ring is on my hand.
I wear my ring to remind me of my admission to Texas A&M;
To reflect on my parents, and what that moment meant to them.
I wear my ring to remind me of the friendships that grew and grew;
I never once met a stranger, and most of them remained constant and true.
I wear my ring to remind me of my experiences, the good, ugly, and the bad;
Not every day was pleasant, and yes, there were times when I was sad.
I wear my ring to remind me of my mom before God called her home;
She told me that no matter what, I must not quit, even when I felt alone.
I wear my ring to remind me of the people that helped along the way;
Those who kept me in line, mentored me, and always asked me about my day.
I wear my ring to remind me of the day I finally picked it up;
It was my birthday, September 15th, and it was time to dunk.
I wear my ring to remind me of when my time was done;
I had finished my last course, took my last final, now it was time to have some fun.
Today I wear my ring so my kids can try it on;
And maybe someday, one day, they too will have one of their own.
Today I wear my ring for the prospective students that I see;
It’s a reminder of my role to bring in more students, and to help with diversity.
I wear my ring for the future, the present and the past;
The African American Aggies who came before me, and those who never got the chance.
I wear my ring to create camaraderie and unity;
Not use it to belittle, shutdown, or hate, simply because you don’t look or think like me.
The ring is special; as only Aggies will understand;
But if you have an Aggie Ring, ask yourself this one question, “Why is this ring on my hand?”
Eric T. Watson ‘99 (Loudest & Proudest Member)