Woods students celebrate "Family" on Ring Day

March 21st, 2016 | SMWC

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Camille-Collera
Camille Collera

Family – that was the theme of the 94th annual Ring Day tradition at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) that took place at the Church of Immaculate Conception on Sat., March 19, 2016. The Ring has long served as a connection among those that are a part of The Woods family. In this highly anticipated and moving ceremony, qualified students received their Woods Rings, a symbol of pride, friendships, academic achievement and personal growth.

Receiving my Woods Ring is one of the most rewarding accomplishments that I have achieved,” said Woods Online business administration major, Camille Collera, Clinton, Ind.

Ninety-eight students – 52 traditional campus, 37 Woods Online and 9 graduate – 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 Woods students can truly understand.

“It feels fantastic,” said music therapy major, Nathan Mensah, Fort Wayne, Ind. “I’ve always felt accepted the second I got to this campus, and now I feel like I’m officially a part of the community.”

Nathan Mensah
Nathan Mensah, music therapy campus student

SMWC President Dottie King welcomed ring recipients and their friends and family members. “Students, from your first day at the College until today, you have accomplished much,” King said. “Candidates for the Ring earn the right to wear it, and you are well on your way to achieving your ultimate goal, which is a degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.”

For Rebecca Jones and Wendy Campbell, both Woods Online business administration majors, this day was doubly special, and the theme of family held special meaning to them. These sisters have supported each other throughout their journey at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in the Woods Online program. They have taken classes together, studied together, now receiving their rings together and will graduate together next year.

"I’m beyond words,” said Campbell, Paris, Ill. “This has been a very exciting journey. And I know Mom and Dad are watching down on us just loving every second that we’re here enjoying this day.”

Campbell and Jones
Rebecca Jones and Wendy Campbell

"It has been a tough journey,” said Jones, Blanford, Ind. “But I am so excited and happy to finally have my ring and my sister by my side.”

In fact, for many participants in the ceremony, the theme of family extends beyond the Woods family. Felica Andrews, Paoli, Ind., Woods Online psychology major, received her ring from her mother, Carrie Andrews, a 2013 graduate of the College.

“It’s been a wonderful day,” said Felica Andrews. “Amazing.”

And when asked how it felt to co-present her daughter with her ring, Carrie Andrews teared up and could only say, “Awesome, really awesome.”

Yet another ring recipient was able to share the day with family.

“It was absolutely amazing to get my ring, especially since I was able to have my cousin give it to me, and it’s so great. I’m just so excited,” said Woods Online paralegal studies major, Carla Chrisman, Terre Haute, Ind. Chrisman’s cousin, 2003 graduate, Alyssa Moon, co-presented her ring to her.

After the ceremony, the students along with their family and friends were able to enjoy a reception at O'Shaughnessy Dining Hall.

Carrie and Felica Andrews

Carrie and Felica Andrews

Alyssa Moon and Carla Chrisman