Story by Tierra Reese, Staff writer
The first official ring for Murray State is being unveiled Feb. 6 at the men’s home basketball game.
Ordering a ring will be available starting Feb. 8 in the Curris Center, across from the University Store with a representative from the ring company, Balfour, providing information and taking orders from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Balfour website has made ordering a ring available online as well.
There will be three display units presenting the college ring information with one in the University Store, the Alumni Center and the other will be revealed after the unveiling of the ring.
L.G. Balfour Company, since mid-2014, has taken over to provide the first official college ring for Murray State students and alumni. Balfour, a “recognized leader in college ring sales,” said Mark Welch, director of alumni relations, offers a variety of personalization options for three different types of rings.
Welch, an alumnus of Murray State class of 1979, is not only promoting this new ring but also plans to purchase one as well.
“It is a symbol to people that I am connected to this institution. There is meaning and nostalgia behind the ring,” Welch said.
Shawn Reynolds, president of the Alumni Association and an alumnus of Murray State, plans to purchase a ring also.
“It is a great opportunity for people who never got the chance to get a ring,” Reynolds said. “I have told some of my friends that also graduated from Murray about this new ring as well.”
Over two years ago, Jim Carter, former vice president and head of the Alumni Association, put together a committee of students to help select designs, which became the official “standard” Murray State ring. Rings range from a standard chunky, bulgy ring to a smaller “cocktail” ring with added embellishments of one’s choice. Balfour has their website available for customizations; however, each official ring will have Murray State class of (year) on it for identification.
Becki Beyler, Balfour’s regional territory manager, has been working with Murray State’s Alumni Association to help decide what these rings will look like. Beyler said these rings are available to junior and senior Murray State students and graduates from the past.
Attributing to the creation of the ring, Beyler wanted the ring to be less about the individual and more about the university, making the ring resonate with the school attended.
Beyler encourages students to buy a ring, because it will create an instant bond between people that could initiate a conversation.
“A collection of rings with the symbol for Murray State will bond from now until forever, which will signify that you are proud of your university, you are a team player and you are involved,” Beyler said.
These rings typically will range anywhere from $400 to $1,400, depending on the metal, stones, engravings and other embellishments desired.
The Friday before the commencement date, there will be a ring ceremony where students and family can come and pick up their official ring.