East Texas Baptist University honored 72 graduating seniors this week with the presentation of their official ETBU class ring. The Ring Blessing was held for the December graduates of 2020. Inspired by Deuteronomy 6, the Class Ring allows ETBU Alumni to carry and display the love of Christ.
“Students, you will be challenged to live out your faith while you wear this ring,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “This symbol on your hand is a reminder of your Christ-centered educational experience at ETBU, and hopefully, you will use it to create conversations with other people about what faith in Jesus means, and what your ETBU experience meant to you. We are proud of you, we celebrate you, and we are thankful for what God has done and what He will do in your lives.”
The ceremony is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of students during their time at ETBU and connect generations of alumni. As a token and gift of appreciation from the university to graduating seniors, this graduation ring symbolizes the university’s blessing over students as they commence from ETBU to pursue their vocational callings.
“This is a moment that we have all worked towards,” graduating senior Denedra Taylor said. “When I got to the Hill as a freshman, I received a replica ring on a key chain, and it feels good to have earned the real ring. Getting my education at ETBU set a foundation for where I’m going to go, and it’s also put a lot on my heart that wasn’t there before. I’ve learned a lot and had a lot of experiences that have opened my eyes to where I want to be in life.”
During the Ring Blessing chapel, Dr. Laci McRee, ETBU graduate (06’) and Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, challenged the students to embrace their God-given purpose, to believe that God can do more with their gifts, and to use those gifts to build His kingdom.
“As you proudly wear your ring as an alumnus, I challenge you to serve others as if serving the Lord,” McRee said. “God has gifted each of us, and it is up to us to live out our calling in the world. You belong, now live a life that shines light in the gifts that God has given you.”
Each ring features the seal of East Texas Baptist, surrounded by the cornerstones of the University – Veritas, Mores, and Scientia, which translate from Latin to Truth, Character, and Knowledge. Inscribed in the ring are significant icons of ETBU and the Christian faith, such as historic Marshall Hall, the Light on the Hill, Max Greiner’s Divine Servant Statue, and the Bible. These symbols are meant to remind Alumni of God’s work in their lives and their transformational experience at East Texas Baptist University.
“Receiving this ring is an honor,” graduating senior Joshua Davis said. “I’m a third-generation Tiger, so to be able to continue the family legacy and see my hard work pay off is the fulfillment of a dream. My ring represents that I completed my degree, and I look forward to wearing it, representing my school, and being proud to tell people about ETBU.”