|Jacob Sollner, who is graduating on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, was one of more than 100 current students and alumni of UT Pan American who celebrated their accomplishments with getting a Bronc Ring. He and fellow ring owners showed their pride at UTPA's fourth Bronc Ring Ceremony Dec. 5.|
Sollner, who will graduate from The University of Texas-Pan American on Dec. 14 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, will join his mother and brother as an alumnus of the University.
To signify that, he purchased a Bronc Ring and celebrated his accomplishments along with more than 100 fellow UTPA students and alumni at the fourth Bronc Ring Ceremony Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Edinburg Auditorium.
"It's nice to see that we're starting these traditions, because we, the people from the (Rio Grande) Valley, are very traditional," Sollner said. "Everyone is very close to one another down here. Being able to see everybody come together for something like this is great to see."
The semi-annual event, which began May 2012, honors current and former students who have purchased the official University ring, which was designed and crafted by UTPA students and celebrates Bronc pride.
Students, alumni and their loved ones heard from UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen, Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Dr. Kimberly Selber, who explained the symbolism of each component of the ring, and UTPA Alumni Association Vice President Arnoldo Mata (BA '81).
"Today is not about a solemn ceremony," Nelsen told a packed auditorium. "Today is a day to remember that you're always going to be Broncs."
Nelsen praised the students for their accomplishments and urged them to help others to achieve their goals of attaining higher education.
"Education is the great equalizer," he said. "It allows us to lift up everyone. You have the responsibility to lift up everyone."
The ceremony concluded with the UTPA Men's Choir leading the singing of the University's alma mater.
See more of the ring ceremony in this photo gallery.