Ring Day - an emotional event for Woods Students
March 24th, 2014 | Betsy Elliott
The 92nd annual Ring Day tradition at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) took place at the Church of Immaculate Conception on Sat., March 22, 2014. In this highly anticipated and moving ceremony, qualified students received their Woods Rings, a symbol of pride, friendships, academic achievement and personal growth.
“I’m very excited to get my ring, and I feel like I’ve come a long way to do so,” said equine studies major, Mandy Maurizi of Mishawaka, Ind. “I think I’ll be even more excited and less nervous once the ceremony is over.”
Eighty-one traditional campus, Woods Online and graduate students participated in the ceremony. Ring Day at The Woods is much more than a right of passage for the recipients. The ring is a symbol that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, and it is a feeling that only Woodsies can truly understand.
“It’s such an accomplishment,” said business administration major, Mandy Kelly of Clinton, Ind. “It’s something everyone strives for.”
“I’m so excited. I really am,” said Woods Online early childhood mild intervention major, Laura Mabry of Rockville, Ind. “It’s such a special day.”
SMWC President Dottie King welcomed ring recipients and their friends and family members. “Receive your ring. Hold fast to the ties that bind you to these Woods. Hold strong to the academic achievement and excellence that this ring symbolizes,” King said. “It tells the world that you are a part of an institution which has the grand and ongoing legacy of cherishing, expanding and sharing.”
Keynote speaker, Ann Sullivan, SP, D. Min., ’69, spoke to the ring recipients about the promises that the Woods Ring symbolizes, from that of SMWC foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, to the promises that they will uphold as they journey through life.
After the ring distribution, the recipients joined together to sing the Ring Song before leaving the church, one step closer to their goal of becoming a Woods graduate.
“I’ve been working for this day for years. I’ve had a lot of tragedies take place while I’ve been going to The Woods, including losing my son and my father.
My husband has been so supportive through all of this,” said Woods Online psychology major Melissa Wilson of Bedford, Ind. “I really wanted to get my ring; it means a lot to me to accomplish this goal. I’m excited to finally have my ring.”
No matter how the ring came to be on her finger or what journey led her to this moment, each student was filled with a sense of pride and excitement as they realized the accomplishment and meaning of receiving the Woods Ring.
“I am overwhelmed. When I came to The Woods to get my teacher license, I wasn’t able to participate because the program didn’t require enough credits to get a ring,” said graduate student in the Master of Leadership Development program, Anne Marie Milligan of Carmel, Ind.
“And my family always teased me and said, ‘Well, you’ll just have to go back to school one day.’ So here I am!”
After the ceremony, the students along with their family and friends were able to enjoy a reception at O'Shaughnessy Dining Hall. To see more photos of Ring Day, including before, during and after the ceremony.
To learn more about Legacy Ring recipients and Legacy Students.