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Spring 2023 graduating seniors recognized with ETBU ring blessing ceremony

April 19, 2023

118 East Texas Baptist University graduating seniors were recognized on Wednesday, April 19, with the presentation of their official ETBU class ring. The ring represents seniors' hard work and dedication throughout their time on the Hill. Inspired by Deuteronomy 6, the Class Ring allows ETBU Alumni to carry and display the love of Christ.

"Before students attend their first class as a Tiger, they are told the story of the ETBU ring, and they are challenged to earn their ring by completing their educational journey on the Hill," ETBU Vice President for Advancement Scott Bryant said. "Today is a celebration of the soon-to-be graduates' perseverance, diligence, and effort as they are presented their ETBU Ring."

A token gift of appreciation from the University to graduating seniors, this graduation ring symbolizes its blessing over students as they commence from ETBU to pursue their career callings. 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. Significant icons of ETBU and the Christian faith are inscribed in the ring, such as the historic Marshall Hall, the Light on the Hill, Max Greiner's Divine Servant Statue, and the Bible. These symbols remind Tiger alumni of God's work in their lives and their transformational experience at East Texas Baptist University. The ceremony is designed to celebrate students' accomplishments at ETBU and connect generations of alumni.

"Being at ETBU, I have appreciated the community and the Christ-centered relationships I have built," graduating senior and mass communication major Maleia Taylor shared. "It's a special moment to be here with my classmates who I've known and loved since freshman year, three weeks out from walking across the stage. I'm glad we get to celebrate this moment in our lives by receiving our rings."

Following morning worship, ETBU alumna and Assistant Professor of Education Jennifer Gillaspie offered a charge to the graduating seniors during her chapel message.

"I'm challenging you now to start looking and listening for the things the Lord may be calling you to," Gillaspie shared. "Even if they don't line up with what you thought your life was going to be like, be willing to listen to where God has you in every little step."

At the conclusion of the special chapel service, ETBU class of '94 and Director of Alumni Relations Cari Johnson shared words of encouragement with the ring recipients.

"I hope this ring is a reminder to you as you see it on your hand and to those who see you wearing it, of all your time here and how faithful God has been," Johnson said. "May the Lord grant you peace in His purposes, and whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might for the glory of God. May you step into this next season with open hands, ready to receive all God has for you, eager to share His gifts with others."