SFA: Dipped in tradition

When your school is located in the oldest town in Texas and named after the father of Texas, it’s kind of a BIG deal. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Stephen F. Austin State University’s class ring tradition either. That’s why it’s call the Big Dip. 

In 2002, the university wanted to create a memorable way for students to receive their class ring that truly embodies the spirit of SFA, so The Big Dip was born. 

The Big Dip-which stands for “Dipped In Pride”, takes place twice a year for students who have 60 credit hours and purchase the official SFA ring. Students receive their rings and then one-by-one dip their newly ringed-hand in the purple pride. The dip contains water from the Stephen F. Austin Fountain, which is located in the heart of campus. The purple dye isn’t permanent, but it usually stays on the student’s hands for two days: a lingering reminder of the milestone they have reached.

SFA students Family and friends gather to be a part of this exclusive tradition, hear from President Baker Patillo and watch their SFA student take part in this “rite of passage” towards graduation.  

SFABefore The Big Dip began, the university worked closely with Balfour to design the official school ring. The top of the ring brazenly presents the gold letters “SFA” in the purple stone. The purple and gold represent the school colors, which were chosen by the first class of students in 1923.

Each year a “mystery dipper” also participates in the ceremony. This is where the alumni association surprises a faculty or staff member that has been at SFA for a long-time and made tremendous contributions to the school.

The Big Dip tradition is an anticipated event for SFA students, and wearing the SFA ring serves as a reminder of the college days spent at Stephen F. Austin State University.