May of 2009 I was selected to give a short speech at the Cougar Ring Ceremony. Called the big 12 back then.
This ring brings an end to a journey that has stretched across 3 University of Houston Presidents, Arthur Smith, Jay Gogue and Renu Khator. This ring brings an end to a journey that has stretched across 3 U.S. Presidents, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barak Obama. This ring brings an end to a journey that has seen 2 centuries, 2 millenniums and 13 years. This ring‘s journey began with CHOOSING The University of Houston over the University of Texas and The University of Texas A&M. This ring’s journey has seen the birth of my daughter, the marriage to my wife, the launching of my own business, the initiation and expulsion from my fraternity, losing an SGA election, storming the field after a few overtimes with Southern Mississippi in 1996, storming the court after we beat Arizona in 2005, switching my major from business to general studies to C.L.A.S.S. to C.S.M., From voting on REC 2000 to working out in the new recreation center, from not enough parking to shuttles and garages, from China Star and Stop and Go to graduate dorms, the admission, academic notice, academic probation, academic suspension and ultimately academic reinstatement to this great university. This ring has seen 4 basketball coaches and 4 football coaches, the top 25 and 0-11. This ring has seen the dot com boom and the real estate bust. This ring has worked part time, full time and double time to support my family and pay for my school. This ring has seen the inside of a small dorm room in Moody Towers North, My fraternity house with my 16 roommates, my first apartment and the home I own today. This ring has seen Cougar Pride, season tickets, bowl games and road games. This ring is the epitome of the journey of a University of Houston student, however extreme it is. It is the direct reflection on my character and the character of The University of Houston. This ring reminds me that it is not the first opportunity, or the second chance you have to count on, but that you have to keep trying and trying. This ring reminds me that it does not matter how many times I fall down as long as I get up one more time. This ring may have cost close to one thousand dollars, but money cannot put a value on this ring and what I have been through to earn it. This ring is starting the next journey. That journey starts today. What that journey brings is unknown. BCS Bowl? Tier 1? PUF money? Big 12? Who knows? The one thing I know, this ring is important to me today.