A New Lord Of The Rings: Hero Finds UT Class Ring In New Zealand

A neat side benefit to buying a UT class ring is that if it is ever lost, the Texas Exes will do their darndest to reunite it with its owner. Alumni tend not to think about this benefit until the day they drop their ring along Lady Bird Lake, as one elderly gentleman did last year, and it gets picked up, traced back, and returned.

Lady Bird Lake is one thing. But how about losing a ring on the bottom of the world — New Zealand — and still recovering it?

When Jonathan Davis’ ring fell out of his pocket in Wellington during a tour down under the Down Under, he “just knew it was gone forever,” he says. He’d been finishing an advanced degree in marine biology in New Zealand, and he and his fianceé were taking one final trip around the country before returning to the States.

As luck would have it, a good-hearted Scotsman picked up the ring — a man so good-hearted he spent three weeks searching for Jonathan.

Bryan Kerr had “always fancied himself a detective,” he jokes. He hunted for Jonathan Davis via social media, but the name proved too common to get a match.

That’s when he called the Alumni Center, where receptionist Pat Spradlin makes it her business to track ring owners down.

“It’s really a lot of fun — an adventure,” Pat says.

This situation wasn’t as hard as others, because sometimes all she has to go on are initials and a grad year. Davis’ contact information hadn’t been updated, but his record was linked with his dad’s, and luckily, his dad had the same address and phone number he’d always had.

When Pat called and was leaving a message, Jonathan just happened to be visiting his father. He picked up the receiver midstream.

“That tone of voice — when he picked up that phone, he was just really excited,” Pat says. “He was meant to get his ring back — that’s the way I look at it. It’s sentimental, it’s original, and it’s an heirloom to him already.”

Jonathan considers Bryan his hero, he says. Bryan says he’s met a lot of nice Texans in his time. And the ring is in the mail.



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