Twins Surprise Dad With Class Ring He Never Had

Sure, the biggest ring news in the world Tuesday may have been the engagement variety that Prince William finally gave his girlfriend.

But here in the Alumni Center, several hundred Longhorns put a ring on it too, having earned the 75 credits needed to buy an official UT class ring.

And one dad got surprised with one that was even more meaningful.

Phil and Luke West, twins studying at UT to become engineers, got together to buy their father, David, BS ’84, the ring he’d earned but never been given. They wanted it awarded to him formally, during the Tuesday evening ceremony in which they would also receive their rings. 

Like all surprises, though, it had its little hiccups.

For one thing, David’s ring had accidentally been delivered to his house in The Woodlands days before.

His wife, Lesa, quickly swiped away the unopened package with a “Gimme that!”

He was ticked off the next day, his sons say. He even apologized, saying, “I’m sorry I’ve been grumpy today — I kind of thought it was for me.”

But David swears he hadn’t figured things out until the minute the master of ceremonies, Texas Exes historian Jim Nicar, called his sons back up to the podium for a special presentation.

When Nicar said his name and told the story, there was a collective “awww” from the crowd. David stood up, shaking his head and smiling. Then he got to the podium, hamming it up for photos with his son.

“They got me,” he said.

All six West children were on hand for the surprise.

David’s folks had paid for his college, so he didn’t want to ask them to pay for a ring to boot, he says. So he’d never gotten one.

But while visiting his parents and talking about Phil’s and Luke’s ceremony, David discovered that his parents had in fact bought each of his siblings a ring. “They said they bought my sister two when she lost one!” he said in mock outrage after the ceremony.

In short, the man was overdue. At his wife’s suggestion, their kids (at least the older ones) chipped in for this ring. One of the younger ones even slipped a dollar bill in his front pocket as they stood around celebrating.

“Thanks, kids. Thanks for that paper route,” he joked.

Top: UT provost Steven Leslie (left) and the Wests: dad David and twins Luke and Phil. Right: The Wests show off their new rings, David’s engraved with his graduation year of 1984. Photos by Lynn Freehill/The Alcalde.



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