Ring Day for the Class of 2015, A Reflection by Erin Clark '05by cnewman
On Thursday, February 6, 2014, Erin Clark '05 addressed the Class of 2015 and their families in the Mercy Center Chapel. Erin had many students, parents and staff members in tears as she recounted her days as a Mercy girl and the importance of receiving her Mercy ring, which she proudly wears every day. Below is her reflection that she shared on Ring Day.
My name is Erin Clark and I am a 2005 graduate of Mount Mercy Academy. As a proud member of the Mount Mercy Alumnae and Staff, I want to be one of the first to say congratulations on this monumental day in your education. We are so proud of all of the beautiful and intelligent young women that are here tonight and in just a few short months you will become the leaders of our school. By receiving your Mount Mercy rings, you have joined an elite group of well over 10,000 graduates who have sat in your seats and received the same rings you have.
As I sat down to compile my thoughts, it didn't take long before I glanced down at my hand and saw that special ring on my finger, as I do countless times during my day. That small gold ring with three letters, MMA, stared back at me. I thought about what this ring represents. It stands for the countless friendships that I made when I was a student here. It stands for the sacrifice that my family made to send me to Mount Mercy Academy to receive the strong, Catholic education that I did. It stands for the teachers who always put their students first and now that I am back at Mount Mercy, those same teachers who have become my dearest friends and role models. As soon as you stepped into the doors on your first day of school here you were Mercy girls but now you are able to wear your own symbol to remind yourself everyday how special these years were to you all.
When it came time for my older sister (Lauren Clark '03) to receive her Mercy ring, she asked my grandmother (Geraldine Hunter Clark '47) if should could wear hers, being a graduate herself. I remember the look in her eyes when it seemed that she did not want to part with her beloved Mercy ring. I thought to myself, being much younger and not a Mercy girl quite yet, WOW, she REALLY loves her ring! Now, almost ten years out of high school and having wore my ring day in and day out, I can begin to explain her hesitance.
I challenge you to wear this ring every day. When I think back to the entire journey this ring has been on with the thousands of Alumnae who wear it, I beam with pride. So whether you are having a ring passed down or a ring that is all your own, take pride and remember that this ring is not just a small, metal circle. This ring stands for you. This ring is the Circle of Mercy and symbolizes all those memories that can never be taken away. Congratulations, ladies!
Erin is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and teaches in the Social Studies Department. Erin is recently engaged and looking forward to her upcoming nuptials in September of 2015.