Aggie Ring Toast
We’ve written on the morality of Ring dunks in the past. Here’s the TLDR:
Intentionally getting drunk is a grave sin, potentially a mortal sin. (Also, see CCC 2284)
Dunk your Ring in holy water, not beer, as part of our Aggie Ring blessing at St. Mary’s.
But what do I do if my friends and family are expecting some kind of event that is a bit more exciting than dunking my Ring in holy water? In the same blog post, we mentioned that dunking your Ring in a glass of beer and drinking it - without chugging - is not wrong. Admittedly, this option is still not momentous. Let me offer a possible solution that could fulfill the expectation for some fitting way of marking such a great occasion.
The Aggie Ring Toast
In the words of Kelly Belmonte, “A toast recognizes the remarkable, gives it a name and a place, and marks it with words to fit the occasion.” We toast at weddings, birthdays, and celebrations of various accomplishments. Why not at Aggie Ring Day?
When I was in seminary, we had a tradition of offering three toasts at the banquet to celebrate the patronal feast day of our college: the Immaculate Conception. Three men would each give a toast: one to the pope, one to the United States of America (since our seminary was away from home), and one to our college. After the three toasts were completed, we would all sing Ad Multos Annos. Something similar could be done on your Ring Day.
Here is a possible outline of the event:
“Howdy!” (as you know, this will gather everyone ‘round and get them all quiet)
Give the toast that you have prepared (I’ve written some suggestions and a sample toast below)
Dunk the Ring in a glass of beer and take a drink as you would at a normal toast
Sing “The Spirit of Aggieland” (be careful about spilling your beer when you hump it)
Go around clinking your glass with the family and friends who have come until you’ve finished the beer
There you have it! A temperate and worthy way of marking the occasion of getting your Aggie Ring. You’ve worked hard to earn the right to wear the Aggie Ring. If public speaking is not your thing, find a creative and dignified means of marking the day in a way that is consistent with your faith and with the values symbolized in the five stars on the ring: development of mind, body, spiritual attainment, emotional poise, and integrity of character.
But if you are interested in making a toast, here are some suggestions as well as a sample toast:
Thank Mom and Dad
Share a story or a particular tradition of the Aggie spirit that inspires you
Give thanks to God for Texas A&M, and say why you are grateful
Express your hope that all who wear the Aggie Ring might embody the Spirit of Aggieland
See this article for the essential ingredients and other helpful pointers for a good toast
Fr. Greg gives an Aggie Ring Toast
Friends, I’d like to propose a toast. I’m grateful that you’ve come to celebrate my Ring Day. Mom and Dad, as if it weren’t enough to put me through college in the first place, now you’ve made it possible to celebrate my time at A&M with a memento that I will keep for rest of my life. Thank you.
Of course, this Aggie Ring is more than a memento. It symbolizes the Aggie spirit - a spirit that I encountered for the first time when I was in high school and a spirit that I’ve grown to cherish in these past three years. We support the living as the 12th man. We honor the dead at silver taps and muster. We excel in our academic pursuits and we enrich the world with our work. We are the Aggies.
I am grateful to God for Aggieland. The love for tradition and the passion for community that I have experienced everyday have been fertile ground for the seeds of faith to grow. Only surpassed by the Holy Spirit, the Aggie spirit has pointed me towards Him and helped me to grow in faith, hope, and charity, which has been its greatest gift.
And so friends, with a grateful heart, I now invite you stand and raise your glasses [put your ring in the beer]. May those who wear the Aggie Ring, whose ranks I am honored to join, do so with dignity and integrity. May we be good sons and daughters of Alma Mater.
To the Spirit of Aggieland! (Here here! Cheers!)