On Oct. 22, the Class of 2023 celebrated their Ring Ceremony at Fletcher Memorial Opera House in downtown Raleigh. This event featured speeches from the ring week co-chairs, ring ceremony co-chairs, guest speaker Katie O’Neill, ‘09, and Vice President Jean Jackson, ‘75. The Meredith Herald interviewed members of the Class of 2023 to get an inside perspective about the event.
Interviewed students generally agreed that they enjoyed their time at the event and offered congratulations to the co-chairs and other organizers of the event. Sadie Rounds stated, “I think the co-chairs did a good job at helping the night be as special as possible despite the potential downsides of celebrating during a pandemic.” Kristina Cardenas had similar thoughts. Cardenas enjoyed the event, saying “[she] enjoyed seeing how well the ring co-chairs put everything together. We are lucky to have [had] a ceremony since last years’ class was unable to have it in the same capacity as previous years.”
Caitlin Hardin was one of the few who decided to attend the ring ceremony virtually. When talking about her experience, she expressed enjoyment and said, “my family, my best friends and my Little [Sis] were there with me to celebrate such an exciting time.” Hardin noted that spending time with her Little Sis was something those who went to the in-person ceremony weren’t able to do because of COVID-19 protocols. She mentioned that while parts of the ceremony were difficult because “it was really hard to hear,” she was “just glad that [she] got to celebrate with everyone around [her].”
Rounds spoke about how wonderful her experience at the Ring Ceremony was because she was able to celebrate with her best friends. She talked about how different the experience was in comparison to what she witnessed her freshman year with her Big Sis. She explained that even though she had “high expectations” because of what she saw her freshman year, she still was able to “make the most of the day with [her] friends,” and she was grateful that COVID-19 didn’t completely prevent the ceremony from occurring.
Rounds stated that her favorite part of the ceremony, like many others, was being able to “finally put on [her] onyx.” She mentioned that her mom is an alumna who attended Meredith in the ‘80s and that she has “seen her [mom’s] onyx on her finger every day for as long as [she] can remember.” She went on to explain that she has been excited to join her mom in wearing an onyx and being able to be “united with Meredith students and alumnae all over the globe.” Cardenas was also thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate this occasion, expressing that “this moment was a big step in [the class’s] life and it is something [she] will value and look back on.”
By Jayce Perry, Staff Writer, and Rachel Van Horne, Associate Editor