The tradition continues -- SMWC Ring Day
April 2nd, 2012 | By Kristy Fry
The year 2012 marked the 90th Ring Ceremony at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC). Ring Day has been one of most highly anticipated events of the student’s college experience.
“It’s super exciting. It means everything to me to get this ring. My sister went here and I’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” said Katelyn Duke, a campus student majoring in graphic design, art and advertising.
On March 31, 2012, approximately 100 students, including undergraduate and graduate students, received their Woods Ring in a powerfully moving ceremony. The ring is visible evidence of the tradition of academic excellence, personal growth and fortitude, which are the roots of The Woods. It is an enduring symbol that is far more than a piece of jewelry. It honors academic success and sacrifice, while demonstrating the pride and loyalty the students and alumnae/i share.
During the annual ceremony, President Dottie King, Ph.D. presented the unique onyx ring to each student.
“We are very proud of our students and their achievements during their college journey,” King said. “Earning the opportunity to wear The Woods ring is very important to all of our students. The Woods ring is recognized all over the country and the world.”
With its distinctive design, only SMWC students and alumnae/i have the privilege of wearing the ring. The oak leaves signify knowledge, the six acorns represent the founders of the College, and the SMW insignia carved in black onyx serves as a reminder that those who wear the ring are educated and guided by “virtus cum scientia,” translated as virtue with knowledge united. The ring, designed in 1922 by students Margaret Williams Mead ’22 and Dorothy Helm Geisel ’23, was first given in 1922 to seniors.
Over the years, SMWC alumnae/i wear their rings with pride and sometimes decide to donate their ring back to The Woods for another student to receive. These rings are called “Legacy Rings.” One such student was Woods Online student Kristina Allen, a native of Terre Haute majoring in Human Services. “Wearing a Woods Ring is very special to me because it shows how truly my life has been blessed. God has given me so many wonderful blessings including my family, my education and now my new group of Woodsie Sisters. When I received my legacy ring, I also received a letter. It was very moving to read it. I feel like a part of her is with me. One of the reasons I applied for a legacy ring was so I could feel like I was carrying her with me during the ceremony.”
Another Woods Online student, Mary Noonan, a business administration major, received her mother’s Woods Ring. “My sister Katy will be my co-presenter, my sister Elizabeth will be wearing her ring in solidarity and my mother will be thinking of us all. I will be receiving so much more than a ring. I will be receiving a true legacy that is the Woods Ring. I will be receiving history.”