UHD Tradition Keeps on Rolling With Drive-Up Ring Ceremony
By Mark Kramer
It may have been a bit different this year, but the traditional University of Houston-Downtown Ring Ceremony celebrating soon-to-be Gator graduates carried on in grand fashion.
A line of vehicles occupied by students and family members made its way down Girard Street under ceremonial red, white and blue decorative archways – then pulling to a brief stop as students were presented their rings in a custom wood UHD box during a drive-thru ceremony held Nov. 14. The event was made possible through a partnership with the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Alumni Relations.
As the ring recipients passed by, Dean of Students Dr. Meritza Tamez, Interim UHD President Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Eric Carl Link shared words of congratulations with the students. More than 60 students participated in the event.
“Because the pandemic has forced us to cancel several in-person events and host online celebrations for the past 8 months, we wanted to do something different that could offer more interaction while adhering to safety protocols to honor our Gators who earned their class rings,” Tamez said. “It was such a joy to see the smiles and excitement on the faces of our Gators and their families as they drove under the balloon arches to receive their rings. It personally lifted my spirit and I hope it did for them, too.”
In addition to receiving their custom Herff-Jones rings, students were also presented with a UHD Alumni mask, stuffed Gator and custom UHD cookie. FLASH Photography was also on site to capture the moment for the students.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.