Le Fer Hall in the summer

Ring Day reflections: Timothy Foster

Blog | 03.21.2019

By Timothy Foster

three students celebrate Ring Day around a cake
Timothy (center) and friends posing by the Ring Day cake after the ceremony.

I arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in the Spring of 2016 with a plan to keep my head down and just get through the next three years as soon as possible. I was 24-years old at the time and a little embarrassed that I had to start college over. So, I had no intention of making any friends or getting involved in any way. I was also painfully aware of the fact that I was one of three men on campus and our presence was less than traditional. If I know one thing about 175+-year-old institutions and their traditions, it is that they don’t change often. I was part of a new era at The Woods, and I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time. Like I said, my goal was just to take the classes I needed and get out without ever leaving a mark. The funny thing about The Woods is that it won’t let you disappear into the crowd like that. Despite people thinking that I was someone’s dad or a professor, it didn’t take long to find an incredible group of friends that seems to be growing every day. It also didn’t take long for the traditions of The Woods to become well-known to me, specifically the ring.

The ring represents the incredible bond that’s created between students. It is not only the single most recognizable symbol of the college but also a symbol of the connection that each student shares. As The Woods continues to grow, the demographics of SMWC will continue to shift and allow more students the opportunity to share in the same Woods experience that we all have.

SMWC offered me what I was looking for: an opportunity. An opportunity to showcase my talents and have my academic and professional goals supported. The ring is a constant reminder of everything that The Woods has done for me and a symbol of the friendships, hardships, successes, pains, laughs, tears and stress-filled moments that have defined every Woodsie’s experience. The ring, despite all our differences, connects every Woodsie together to the place we call home.

headshot of Timothy Foster

About the Author

Timothy Foster is a senior, studying theology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He is very active on and off campus. He is a resident assistant and treasurer for the senior class, while also working for the athletic department. He plans to continue his education by earning a master’s degree through the Master of Leadership Development program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and later pursue a doctorate. One day, he hopes to teach theology at the collegiate level and apply his professional writing minor to theological writing. Timothy loves working out, being with friends and playing tennis in his spare time.



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Kate Satchwill | 03.21.2019 at 6:47pm
I think it’s Providentially wonderful. The time for undergraduate men to experience the Woods ways of learning has never been more important. As they achieve their academic goals in an environment led by Woods Women who share the traditions of excellence exemplified by the ring, we all can celebrate. Welcome to our sacred grounds.
Gloria Gick '69 | 03.21.2019 at 9:40am
This Ring Reflection is especially meaningful. One of the questions that came up among us "old girls" when the Woods went co-ed was "What about the ring? Will men "get it"? Will it's meaning be diminished or the tradition die? My feeling was that a man who chose the Woods would get it and, if he didn't at the start, the Woods itself would teach him. Thank you, Timothy, for sharing this and reassuring us that the meaning of being a Woodsie is not lost.