November 5, 2019
East Texas Baptist University honored 103 graduating seniors with the presentation of their official ETBU Class Ring. The Ring Blessing was held Monday, November 4 for the December graduates of 2019. Inspired by Deuteronomy 6, the Class Ring allows ETBU Alumni to carry and display the love of Christ.
“Deuteronomy chapter 6 represents the heart of what we believe God was telling us to do as we developed the ring program. That we would tie these rings on our hands as a symbol for life,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “Although these rings may fade away over time, let them serve as a reminder of your memories made on the Hill, the truths that faculty members taught you in the classroom, and the meaningful conversations through fellowship with your campus community. We challenge you as you walk off this Hill to take these rings and use them to share what God has done in your life and what He is doing at East Texas Baptist University.”
The ceremony is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of students during their time at ETBU and connect generations of alumni. As a token of appreciation to graduating seniors, this graduation ring symbolizes the University’s blessing over students as they commence from ETBU to pursue their vocational callings. During the Ring Blessing chapel, Dr. Gevan Spinney, ETBU graduate (98’) and pastor of First Baptist Church Haughton, Louisiana challenged students to go all-in for Christ.
“Everyone matters to Jesus, God has placed you here for a reason,” Spinney said. “Here’s my challenge to you, don’t spend your years here at ETBU just giving a little bit. Go all in. Sell out to Jesus Christ. All of our lives are broken by sin, but every person in this room matters to Jesus and every one of us can share Jesus with somebody.”
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.
“When I look at my ETBU ring I will reflect back on times where I cheered on the sidelines of the Ornelas Football stadium, found myself humbled by God in the Rogers Spiritual Life Center, and served across the globe in Japan,” ETBU graduating senior Ronni Ward said. “Once a Tiger, always a Tiger, and that’s exactly what my ring will display to the world in which I will encounter my next big adventure.”