"We were proud to reveal an enriched program -- one that acknowledges the role of parents, friends and family in student success and celebrates Mean Green Pride," says Rob McInturf, executive director of alumni relations. "This ceremony, as well as the ring, commemorates the outstanding achievement of these students."
More than 850 students and guests filled the Library Mall as part of the ring presentation ceremony May 1, the 10th anniversary of the event. Each student selected a loved one to present the ring in recognition of the role family and friends have played in the UNT journey. After learning about the symbols featured on the rings, students participated in a celebration called the Eagle Ring Dive. They submerged their rings in the fountains on the Library Mall. McConnell Tower was then illuminated to celebrate the graduates' academic victory as they dipped their rings.
John Solis ('18) attended the dive with his father, Javier ('85), a fellow UNT alumnus. Solis graduated in May with a degree in integrative studies.
"This moment is really special, and I am thrilled to be able to share it with my family," he says.
"Just like my ring reminds me, their rings will forever connect them to their Mean Green family," Wolf says.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the official UNT ring program with Jostens, UNT's official ring provider. Students and alumni must have completed 60 credit hours or more to be eligible to purchase the official UNT class ring. All students, alumni and friends of the university may purchase spirit rings.
The top of the official UNT ring is adorned with the Lone Star of Texas and an optional green stone. One side of the ring features the UNT seal, which includes the lamp of learning and its eternal flame, representing academic achievement and excellence; a laurel wreath representing honor; the Lone Star, symbolizing Texas; and, at the bottom, "1890," the year of UNT's founding. Below the seal, the Eagle is shown with wings spread, its talons representing pride and unity.
On the opposite side of the ring, surrounded by the graduation year, is McConnell Tower, which sits above the Hurley Administration Building. The hands on its two clock faces are set at one o'clock, honoring the One O'Clock Lab Band, and seven o'clock, recalling the curfew for early students of the college.
It's traditional for students to wear the ring with the words "University of North Texas" facing toward them until they graduate. At the commencement ceremony, when they move their tassels, they also turn their rings for the world to see they're graduates of UNT.