The Alamo will always be the most iconic symbol of San Antonio. And for some University of Texas at San Antonio graduates, the term "Remember the Alamo" will take on a whole new meaning.
That’s because of a tradition that started in 2012. For students that choose to buy a class ring, the night before they get their ring, the rings spend a night inside the Alamo.
Packed up in a case, hundreds of UTSA class rings make their way from the main campus to the Alamo for the night. They are guided by a police escort and are walked inside, guarded by a state trooper.
“It’s a wonderful way to tie all of our UTSA students back to a very historical site in San Antonio,” said Jana Kennelly, UTSA alumni association assistant vice president.
The rings spend a night inside the Alamo before being given to graduates in a special ceremony. The tradition is exclusive to UTSA and, to date, more than 4,000 rings have spent the night in the Alamo.
“Just like the Alamo, the UTSA students are honorable, loyal, they persevered, and that’s very much what the Alamo represents,” Kennelly explained.
With family and friends watching on Wednesday evening, students opened their boxes and put their rings on at the same time. It’s become such a special tradition, even graduates from decades ago are coming back to be part of it.
“Back when I was a new college graduate, I couldn’t really afford a ring, per se. Now, I could better afford it, so I need to take advantage of this,” said Chuck Clark, who graduated in 1992.
“I’m now a part of Texas history. I’ve been here most of my life. I was born in Texas and personally, as a Texan, it’s important for me to be able to say my ring is special enough to have spent a night in the Alamo,” said Clark’s girlfriend Joyce Fox, who graduated in 1996.
“I always went to the Alamo for field trips at school, so I grew up with it. So it’s really great knowing it slept at the Alamo and I got it. So it’s just one step further in making it special for me,” 2017 graduate Bailey Preikschat said.
About 400 students participated in the ceremony on Wednesday. They also got a certificate stating how the rings spent a night in the Alamo.