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Clemson to hold 3 different ring ceremonies for first time in history

Katie Bradham
Every semester, hundreds of Clemson students receive their Clemson Ring.

The annual Clemson Ring Ceremony is set to return to Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 29, hosting three separate celebrations for the first time in its history due to continuous growth in participants. The Guarding of the Rings event will also occur at the Scroll of Honor for the first time since 2017.

The demand for an additional ceremony was fueled by the “growing desire to be a part of the Clemson story,” Helen Mitchell, Clemson’s director of special events, said.

This enthusiasm led to 2,322 ring sales this year compared to 2,200 in 2022, an increase of roughly 5% more. According to the Clemson Alumni Association, Clemson ranks second in the country among universities for college ring sales. The ceremony is designed to pay homage to the University’s students and alumni who have earned at least 90 credit hours of education.

The reinstated Guarding of the Rings event will involve cadets standing watch over the rings at the Scroll of Honor beginning at 7 a.m. the day of the ceremony, according to the Clemson Alumni Association. This act not only pays tribute to Clemson’s proud military school heritage but also underscores the significance of receiving a Clemson ring.

Clark Reboul, a senior computer information systems major and vice president of the Clemson student body, sees the ceremony as an opportunity for self-reflection.

“It can bring students in from the outside and motivate them to love and contribute to the school,” Reboul said, referring to the ceremony’s ‘How Will You Serve?’ theme.

Rachel Mize, a Class of 2021 alum, finds that the tradition and its underlying theme serve as a reminder of all that Clemson has to offer. It is an opportunity “to become a part of something bigger than (ourselves),” Mize said.

By receiving a class ring, Clemson students not only create a stronger bond with each other but also with the University itself.

Riley Dowling believes the Clemson Ring Ceremony’s growing popularity is attributed to its sentimental value. For her, this event is not a bittersweet farewell but rather a celebration that provides an opportunity for reflection. She added that the ceremony provides a moment of relief, reassuring her that her time contributing to Clemson has not concluded but continues to evolve.

To Clemson professor Carter Mcelveen, the ring is a link to her past and her future, she said. Mcelveen explained how it helped her connect to past and present students, providing the comfort of knowing there’s a Clemson family filled with support. The unique power of this ring lies in its ability to be celebrated in various ways, yet it carries the same underlying theme: A love for Clemson.

With ring sales reaching an all-time high along with the need for additional ceremonies, the significance and popularity of the ceremony seem to be growing exponentially.

As peers and as a family, students have found themselves indebted to the University for the multitude of opportunities it has and will continue to provide. As they reflect on this journey, a compelling question lingers, one articulated by Reboul: “If the Clemson ring will lead you to become a part of something bigger than yourself, ‘How Will You Serve?’

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Katie Bradham
Katie Bradham, Senior Videographer
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