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Will You Have a Ring by Spring?

By Caden Lopez

Did you know? Graceland has a few traditions associated with “Ring by Spring” when students on campus become engaged.

Newly engaged students keep the announcement a secret to all of their housemates except for the house president. The house president then makes posters of the event advertising it, which usually takes place in Cheville Chapel or the Tess Morgan lobby.

For women, this tradition consisted of sitting in a circle and passing around a lit candle with the engagement ring tied to it. The candle is passed to the person the students most likely believe to be engaged. Once the candle has been paced to her three times, she blows it out and tells the story of her engagement. This tradition supposedly came to Graceland sometime in the 1960s. Pictured is Kaitlyn Couchman-Padget, who had her candle passing in the spring of 2022 after her engagement to her now husband, Brendyn Padget.

The tradition for men, although prohibited in the 1980s, consisted of the house members carrying the groom-to-be down to Founder’s pond or Big G to dunk him in. After talking with Dr. Dan Pratt, one of Graceland's chemistry professors and student at Graceland in the 1980s about his experience with ring by spring, I learned that the guys go all out for their tradition.

Dr. Pratt became engaged after he graduated from Graceland, “While enjoying a movie in the NSU a year later, my old house members found me and took me to Founder’s pond for a dive.” Dr. Pratt mentioned that when it was discovered that a guy had become engaged, “the whole house would knock on his door and carry him from his dorm, down and out the building, all the way to the lake, most of the time with clothing being removed.”

Will you have a ring this spring?

Pictured provided by Kaitlyn Couchman-Padget

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