UTPA students, alums get their first official class ring

Loyal and proud UTPA students and alums endured the South Texas heat on a recent Friday at the Edinburg campus for the opportunity to be part of a new tradition.

The first recipients of UT Pan American's official class ring.

More than 200 past and present students anxiously awaited their turn outside the University's Fine Arts Auditorium to collect their Bronc symbol of pride.

We asked some to describe what this day means to them and how it feels to finally own a UTPA ring.

Oh my goodness, it means so many hours of just working and studying so it's just you know it's just a symbol of a great accomplishment.

Everything that I've done that's just the one symbol that unifies everything so to me it's something very special and it will be with me till the day I die.

The students, alums and their family and friends eventually made their way inside the Fine Arts Auditorium where they had the opportunity to participate in and experience the first ever Bronc ring ceremony.

The ring recipients kicked off their grand entrance chanting the Latin words "Semper Porro" meaning "Forever Onward" as the audience of more than a thousand cheered on including UT Pan Am president Robert Nelsen who celebrated the new UTPA tradition alongside them. He commended a group of art majors for designing the ring.

They're that creative, they're that smart, they are that wonderful and so this is the first ring designed by our students, created by our students with the pride of our students...applause."

During the event, the recipients took turns making their way to the center of the stage where they wrote their names in the official ceremonial book and touched the Bronc ring touchstone which displayed the face of the ring to commemorate the new tradition.

Students really bought into the fact that this is a tradition, this is brand new thing that will show our spirit that will show our Bronc pride so I'm very, very excited to be here."

The ceremony concluded with the UTPA Men's Choir singing the Alma mater and a performance by the UTPA Mariachi. I'm Sandra Quintanilla reporting for UTPA and Action 4 News.