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Aggie Ring Lost At Sea, Returned By Former Student

Taylor Fennell '21 January 9, 2019 9:45 AM updated: January 14, 2019 12:39 PM

Many Aggies say their worst nightmare would be losing their Aggie Ring.

That’s exactly what happened to Matt Hofmeister ’15 while on a trip to Port Aransas last June. After a long day in the water, the Aggie high-fived his buddy and saw his Aggie Ring fly into the ocean. Although the friends searched for the little piece of gold, they returned home empty-handed.

Five weeks later, Paul Krugler ’72 ventured to Port Aransas and did some metal-detecting along the beach. As he stood knee-deep in the water on a Saturday afternoon, his metal detector indicated a penny-sized object nearby. When Krugler dug in the sand and saw a gold ring, he knew he was about to make some Aggie very happy.

Krugler returned to his travel trailer and immediately logged into AggieNetwork.com to search for the Ring’s owner on Find an Aggie. He quickly matched the name inscribed on the Ring to a phone number and gave Hofmeister a call.

“When Paul called me that evening, it was hard to believe what I was hearing,” Hofmeister said. “Not only was my Ring found, but it was another Aggie who was returning it to me! In reflecting back, I’m so glad that I had kept my contact information up to date on the Aggie Network.”

The pair decided to meet at the first home football game of the season, where Krugler would return the Aggie Ring to its owner. Hofmeister was eager to be reunited with his piece of gold, but knew it was in safe hands.

“It was a good feeling knowing that another Aggie had the Ring,” Hofmeister said. “I had no apprehension whatsoever about waiting until the first home game to get it back. I knew he would take care of it like his own.”

In the end, the Aggies created a unique bond out of an unfortunate situation. Krugler said he was happy to help return something that meant so much to a fellow Aggie.

“It occurred to me that this Ring had gone directly from his hand, to my hand, and back to his,” Krugler said. “Its possession remained 100 percent Aggie. And it was one great feeling to hand it back to him.”

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