By Kelsey Vanwey
As the 91st Ring Day at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College nears, signs around the campus countdown to the annual event and junior class members do the traditional table pounding at lunch every day.
Ring Day is 2 p.m. Saturday in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Seventy-four students will receive their rings, including undergraduate and graduate students.
Here are some thoughts about Ring Day shared by members of the SMWC community via an email Q&A:
What does Ring Day mean to you?
“Ring Day is a day of celebration. It’s a day to celebrate the great accomplishments and achievements as a Woodsie here at SMWC. Ring Day is a tradition. It is sacred and it is special to every Woodsie.” – Aleah Wieland, SMWC junior
“Moving closer to graduation.” – Cortney Watson, SMWC junior
“When I first became interested in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, I was unfamiliar with the Ring Day tradition. After participating in the Ring Day ceremony during my freshman year as an usher I was reminded why I chose to attend such a wonderful school. The community that is created by such a small campus is connected through this symbolic ring. I look forward to joining to the 90 years of students.” – Kirstin Strow, SMWC junior and class president
“Students who have accrued a certain amount of academic hours at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College are eligible to receive an SMWC ring. This recognition of their accomplishment is a time of excitement and joy for them and for many.” – Rosemary Nudd, S.P., associate professor of English
What are you most excited about with all of the Ring Day festivities?
“Aside from getting my Woods Ring, of course, I am most excited about sharing this experience with other Woodsies in celebration.” – Wieland
“The ceremony. It will be nice to see all the others getting their rings, my co-presenter, and all the proud families.” – Watson
“I have two favorite parts of Ring Day… I love the moment when all recipients have received a ring and they sing the Ring Song. I take that moment to not only look at the joy on each recipient’s face, but to look in the crowd and see the pride on all of the loved ones’ faces. Another Ring Day festivity that is a favorite is the Monday following Ring Day. It is exciting to see the sophomores pound for the first time and all of the juniors show off the new rings.” – Elizabeth Coley, Class of 2010, assistant director of Campus Life, junior class adviser
“Since I am receiving my ring this year, I look forward to sharing the accomplishments and successes during our time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with my classmates, friends, and family.” – Strow
“I am always interested in the entire ceremony which the students have planned, for it gives a hint of their thoughts and feelings, intentions and beliefs, about their lives as women of the Woods. (I realize that sometimes men receive rings, but on-campus students, who are all women, plan the ceremony.”) – Nudd
What does this ring mean to you?
“It signifies my growing as a person and as a woman. It encourages me to keep going.” – Wieland
“A milestone to graduating as a full-fledged Woodsie.” – Watson
“It is hard to put into words what the ring means to me. When I look at my ring I feel pride in having an education from SMWC, I see memories that were made with friends, and I remember the hard work it took to receive the ring.” – Coley
“The ring symbolizes the hard work and dedication we have as students to our academics. Also, it connects me with many other students and alumni around the world.” – Strow
“It is a commitment to living and witnessing SMWC’s motto: ‘Virtue and Knowledge United.’” – Nudd