Photos: Dylan Price, sophomore from Forney, Texas; Shaiane Dickerson, speech/language pathology major from Clyde, Texas; Matthew King, business finance major from Arlington, Texas
“I’m pretty sure I can smell Kool-Aid,” says sophomore Dylan Price as he thrusts his hand into the purple slurry contained in one of bowls set up on Anderson Lawn. The physical science major from Forney, Texas, was one of 151 sophomores on the Hardin-Simmons University campus brave enough to see what the big bowls of purple dye were all about.
Sophomores waited in line today to plunge their hand to the bottom of one of the bowls containing key chains with a mock senior ring attached. The idea is for students to slip their forefinger through the keychain and bring it out dangling in the classic Cowboy-gun hand sign.
The sixth annual Sophomore Ring Event attracted 57% of all returning sophomores, a statistic that thrills Stacey Martin, HSU’s director of undergraduate academic advising. “I was really pleased with the great turnout, and especially thrilled considering that it was raining the whole time!” says Martin. “Everyone had such a great attitude, students just took the rain in stride.”
Adding to the attractiveness of the event were the Chick-fil-A sandwiches given to everyone sporting a purple hand.
“The event is to remind sophomores that if they stay focused, they will get a real class ring as a gift from the university just before they graduate,” says Britt Jones HSU director of alumni relations. “The keychain serves as is a symbol of their eventual graduation.”
Held near the fire hydrant that marks the grave of bulldog mascot Fritz (Dam-it), from the class of 1920, the setting was the perfect stage for establishing the tradition of allegiance to the university.
Sophomores are supplied with a bandana to wipe off the purple whatever-it-is, with many wearing it as a fashion statement to match their purple hand. Past sophomores say it takes at least a couple of days for the purple stain to wear off.
While many of the students wonder about the ingredients for the mysterious Kool-Aid-smelling cocktail, they won’t be getting any recipes from Jones or Martin. The recipe is so secret that it is kept under lock and key in a vault in Britt Jones’ alumni office. Okay, not really, but the recipe is still a secret.