Unique Texas College Ring Tradition

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College Graduation is a time to reflect back on your educational journey and the milestones you accomplished over the years. A time to remember time honored traditions that catapult you into an honored group of alumni that carry with them the memories they made from their Alma mater for years to come.

Each college is unique in how they celebrate certain traditions and the University of Houston is no different. One particular tradition that stands out from the rest is the Official Class Ring Ceremony. Not your ordinary run of the mill type, but one with blessings, cougars, and stories to be shared for years to come.

The Tradition


Photo: Sonia Ramirez

The University of Houston annual ring ceremony began in 2011 in partnership with the Houston Zoo and the University of Houston Alumni Association. Every semester, all official Class Rings are brought to the zoo the evening before the grand ceremony to be blessed by the UH live cougar mascot-Shasta VI. Shasta has long been a staple at the University representing the spirit and Cougar pride around campus. The first Shasta arrived on campus in 1947 states the University website.

Cougar Blessings


Photo: houstonalumni.com

Shasta VI is the keeper of the rings the night before the ceremony and proudly watches over them in his exhibit at the zoo making sure to bless all the rings sealed and held in a locked cougar red box adorned with his image. Ring recipients are encouraged to visit, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a front row seat to his show as he makes his way around the box and even jumping on top for top rate photo ops of his commanding presence.

Soon after, the rings are then taken out of the box and transported back to UH for the Ring Ceremony where they will be presented to all students and alumni participating in that semester’s ceremony.

The Ceremony

Photo: Sonia Ramirez

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