ANTIGONISH: It’s a symbol of achievement for graduating students at St. Francis Xavier University. December 3, Feast of St. Francis, is the day graduating students receive their X-Ring – one of the most recognizable rings in the world.
Almost 900 graduating students received their x-ring and now join thousands of alumni from around the world who wear their ring proudly. Although, this year’s ceremony was much different, the campus community pulled together to offer a creative way for students to receive their rings, thank their families, and enjoy a ceremony – while following public health and StFX health protocols.
“The X-Ring cannot be emulated by other institutions. It is not a graduation ring. It is a proud remembrance and transformative experience that is unique to StFX,” said StFX President Dr. Andy Hakin. “It serves as a constant reminder of the many experiences academically and otherwise that are unique to this great institution and have helped shape your development as a future leader,” said Dr. Hakin. “Wear and display your ring with pride and never forget the journey and experiences it represents.”
This year’s guest speaker was former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna (class of 1970) Deputy Chair of TD Securities who gave his speech via livestream from Toronto.
“I stand before you today to honour a ring that has been worn by prime ministers and premiers, presidents, Noble Prize winners, scholars, athletes and movie stars,” said McKenna. “This is my 50th anniversary since graduation and I can still remember my first day on campus. I fell in love with StFX that day and I can categorically say my passion for StFX has never waned. I’ve been wearing this ring for 50 years.”
It was very special for McKenna, as his grandson Jay received his X-Ring.
Over a thousand family and friends watched the ceremony via live stream. A small stage party and ceremony participants were present in the MacKay Room in Bloomfield Centre. All X-Ring recipients watched from their homes.
Master of Ceremonies was senior class co-presidents Allison Hancock and Sean De van der schueren. “The moment I stepped on campus I knew this where I would be for the next four year,” said De van der schueren.
The Honorary X-Ring was presented to Faculty of Education professor Dr. Joanne Thompkins for exceptional teaching over two decades and her tireless efforts in equity and inclusion, antipoverty and numerous other community and academically based endeavours.
The X-Ring was designed in 1942, with the first X-Ring ceremony held in 1958. It is said to be the third most recognized ring in the world after Super Bowl and Papal rings. It is a permanent reminder of the StFX experience and its lasting solidarity.
The event was recorded via livestream and is available now at: stfx.ca/alumni/everything-x-ring/x-ring-ceremony.