November 18, 2021
East Texas Baptist University honored 62 graduating seniors with the presentation of their official ETBU Class Ring. The Ring Blessing was held Wednesday, November 17, for the December graduates of 2021. Inspired by Deuteronomy 6, the Class Ring allows ETBU Alumni to carry and display the love of Christ.
“I am sure that not too long ago, many of you were freshmen wondering if you could make it through,” ETBU Vice President for Advancement Scott Bryant said. “Well, you have made it. And today we celebrate that milestone with the Ring Blessing and we look forward to celebrating again with graduation approaching in a few weeks.”
The ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of students during their time at ETBU and connects generations of alumni. As a token and gift of appreciation from the University to graduating seniors, the ETBU Class Ring symbolizes the University’s blessing over students as they commence from ETBU to pursue their vocational callings.
“A lesson that I've learned while attending ETBU is that your spirituality is very important with everything that you do both academically and socially,” graduating senior Alexander Shaffer said. “I think that coming here was a great opportunity to learn how to do that. For me, this ring symbolizes moving on to the next step. It signifies that all the hard work that I put in over the last four years is really starting to show.”
Prior to the Ring Blessing chapel, Director of Alumni Relations and Intercessory Prayer Ministry Coordinator Cari Johnson prayed over the graduating seniors.
“Dear God, I thank you so much for today and I thank you for the men and women in this room,” Johnson prayed. “I thank you for the diligence and endurance that you have granted them. Lord, I pray that you would bring them peace as plans are being made, sketched, and changed. There are many unknowns and there are things that we think we know for sure, Lord, and only you can see how they will unfold. I pray that you would just give us a renewed trust and reliance on you, your spirit, and your power. God, may you change the world through the people in this room.”
Each ETBU Class 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 means a lot because I am a first-generation graduate, so I get to be a role model for all of my siblings,” ETBU graduating senior Tia Steen-Baker said. “I really appreciate the amount of community and the faith-based education that I obtained here at ETBU. It brought me closer to God and to my peers as well.”