University of Calgary

Geoscience grads ‘get their rings’ at time-honored ceremony

UToday HomeMarch 28, 2013

By Jennifer Allford

Geoscience gradsFrom left: graduating geoscience students Danijela Mikulic, Lynsey McKinnon and Danielle Kondla show off the Earth Rings they received at a ceremony March 23. Photo courtesy Lynsey McKinnon About 400 people turned out last Saturday for the annual Earth Ring Ceremony for students graduating from the Department of Geoscience.

The ceremony — where senior earth scientists welcome graduating geologists and geophysicists into the profession — was first held in Alberta in 1975 and has since spread to other provinces across the country.

The students recite in unison the “Ring Oath” — a pledge to uphold the highest standards of professionalism. Taking the oath and wearing the ring as a symbol of integrity, professionalism and honour is entirely voluntary.

“It represents something really fascinating and something I want to be a part of,” says Dennis Ellison, who is graduating with a BSc in geophysics and participated in the ceremony over the weekend.

He’s only been wearing his ring for a few days and it feels “a little surreal,” he says. “With graduation approaching it feels like I am part of this other community of professionals,” says Ellison, the president of the Geophysics Undergraduate Student Society. “It feels really good.”

Lynsey McKinnon, who is graduating with a BSc in geology and is president of the student association, the Rundle Group of Geology, says most of her classmates took the oath along with her. “It signifies the end of a long period of hard work and persistence and achieving the goal of getting my degree,” she says. “It’s a huge symbolic thing for me.”

McKinnon, who will be working for Penn West for the summer, and Ellison, who has a job lined up at Thrust Belt Imaging, are two of the 118 graduating geoscience students who participated in the ceremony, which is patterned after the ceremony where graduating engineer students receive iron rings.

“The Iron Ring ceremony has been going on for much longer,” says Edward Krebes, a professor in geophysics and the emcee of the event. “The Earth Ring Ceremony itself is based on the engineers’ ceremony commissioned to be written by Rudyard Kipling in 1923.”

The students received their rings last Saturday afternoon, after participating in an ethics case studies workshop in the morning.


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