Texas A&M University junior Azra Razvi said she has long dreamed of the day she would receive her Aggie ring, but when the day finally arrived Friday, she shared it with her Aggie mother through the help of a special surprise.
Razvi said her mother, local Baylor Scott and White physician and class of '90 A&M graduate Amina Alikhan, was not able to purchase her own Aggie ring before going on to medical school.
After being presented with her ring by her mother, Razvi said the second ring was then produced and presented by her grandfather -- class of '67 graduate Syed Naqi -- to Alikhan.
"She's provided everything for me, and honestly, this is nothing in comparison to that," Razvi said. "Because she wasn't able to afford it in college and then never really got to it later on in life, I think this is going to be really special for us to share. I'm honestly just blessed and honored that I get to do it for my mom, because she deserves the world, and this is just a small thing that I can do for her."
When the time came to present the second ring, Razvi said her mother was "completely surprised" and that it made for a "special day for our family."
Razvi -- a member of the Maroon Coats and a class of '19 business honors student -- was among 6,600 Aggie ring recipients this weekend, a record for the annual spring event.
Because of the potential for inclement weather, the ring presentations were moved from the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center to the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field.
Razvi said the surprise was years in the making: Since her freshman year, she said she has been saving up to pay for not only her ring but her mother's as well.
"I've known I wanted to do this for a while now," she said. "My mom is my role model, and I want to be just like her. If anyone deserves it, she does."
She said although she was not always as subtle as she could have been in preparing for the surprise -- Razvi said she would often try on her mother's wedding ring in an attempt to determine the correct size to order for the Aggie Ring -- she felt confident the secret was kept all the way until the big day.
Razvi said her grandfather was the first in her family to attend Texas A&M, moving from India to do so. Having grown up an enthusiastic Aggie, Razvi said she "always knew I was going to come to Texas A&M" but has only grown to love the university more throughout her first three years as a student.
"You think you know what it's like, but I don't think you fully understand the Aggie Spirit and the Aggie network until you're actually a student," Razvi said. "I could not be happier to be an Aggie."
Razvi said more than anything, she is grateful to Texas A&M for allowing her to share in the special day with her mother.
Texas A&M School of Innovation Dean Andrew Morriss was also among the thousands who received an Aggie ring on Friday during a special ceremony at the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center. Morriss has degrees from the University of Texas, Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although he has been working for Texas A&M since 2014 -- first as head of the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth -- Morriss said he wanted to make it official with a master's degree in educational psychology with a concentration in educational technology.
"I've been teaching for 25 years, so I figured it was about time to learn how to do it," Morriss said. "I started out because I wanted a ring, but I've learned so much from this program, and I have so much respect for the faculty and other students in the College of Education."
Morriss is set to graduate at the end of this semester.
Beyond wanting to further cement his connection to the university with a degree, Morriss said becoming an Aggie has family significance as well. He said his wife, who is an Aggie as well, comes from a long line of Texas A&M graduates going back to 1895.
Morriss said he is grateful to not only be an Aggie but also for the opportunities he has to interact with students, faculty, staff and researchers on a daily basis.
"Just about every day I meet somebody doing something extraordinary," he said. "That's what makes Texas A&M so special, and it's why someone would uproot their life to come be a student here. You're going to bump into really interesting people doing fascinating stuff all the time."