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Sacrifice, Service And Spirit

Travonte "Trey" Bodwin '13 March 11, 2014 1:37 PM updated: June 26, 2015 1:29 PM

By Trey Bodwin '13

The tradition of the Aggie Ring is known around the world to symbolize hard work and selfless service. Its symbolism was transformed to action last November after a natural disaster in the Philippines.

Senior health major Patricia “Patty” De Veyra ’14 is one of many students whose families were affected by Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, 2013. Texas A&M student organizations, such as the Philippine Student Association (PHILSA) and many others, contributed by donating to relief efforts. De Veyra’s stateside family began raising money by selling T-shirts and donating whatever they could to help. It wasn’t long until she decided to contribute something of her own. 

De Veyra saved all year for her Aggie Ring and had looked forward to ordering it since her freshman year. But what she knew just what to do. De Veyra decided to contribute all of the money she saved for the Aggie Ring to her family in the Philippines and the people affected by the typhoon. 

“I wanted to know that bits and pieces of my Aggie Ring could be used for shelter, books, medicine—basically anything that my family needed my Ring to be,” De Veyra said. “I viewed it as if I was getting my Aggie Ring. It was just going to be in a ‘spirit’ form.”

After discussing the idea with friends, De Veyra’s inspiration spread quickly. “There wasn’t even a second thought about Patty donating her Aggie Ring,” said Lindsay Davenport ’14, De Veyra’s roommate and close friend. “Patty has always been known to put others before herself.” 

Davenport and her other roommates were motivated by De Veyra’s act of selfless service.. “We were all blown away by Patty’s decision, but we knew how much how much she wanted to help,” Davenport said. “We just wanted to mirror her actions.”

During the Christmas break, Davenport and friends joined together in secret to continue De Veyra’s spirit of giving. They decided to raise money for her Ring and reached out to out to friends for help by compiling a large list of emails. 

With the help of friends and the Aggie family, the roommates were able to raise enough money for De Veyra’s  Ring just in time to order it. “To surprise Patty, we told her that we were going to see one of our friends order her Aggie Ring for the ceremony in April,” Davenport said. “She was so excited to share the moment with us, but she had no idea that she would be receiving her Ring too.”

Once De Veyra got in the car, she saw a framed collage of the friends who donated and a receipt from an Aggie Ring order. At first glance, she thought it was all for her roommate until she read the name on the order form. Moments later, De Veyra arrived at the Clayton W. Williams Alumni Center, where she was surprised by a group of friends who played a part in making everything possible. 

“It was amazing to see her reaction to it all,” Davenport said.

De Veyra said she had no idea that her actions would impact her friends to respond in such a special way. Today, she remains inspired by the people in the Philippines and how their values resemble Aggies everywhere. 

“There’s an act of selfless service in the Philippines every day—despite the conditions,” she said. “It’s comforting for me to hear that the values and family spirit that this school holds are the same that my family holds here and in the Philippines.”

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