“I’m So Grateful There Are Still Honest People Out There:” A Lost Class Ring Goes Home

RingLosing a prized possession is never easy. But when it comes to UT class rings, Texas Exes and friendly strangers alike regularly work minor miracles to return lost rings to their rightful owners.

Over the years, misplaced rings have turned up everywhere from the Caribbean Sea to the green hills of New Zealand—and still managed to make it home.

The latest ring reunion happened last weekend. Ashlyn Beard, BA ’01, was lucky enough to get her class ring back after an honest soul spotted it at the Ron Carter auto dealership in Alvin, Texas.

In June, Beard and her 5-year-old daughter visited the dealership to trade in their car for a new truck. During the deal, the car salesman accidentally cut Beard’s daughter’s foot while opening the car door. As any mother would, Beard immediately dropped everything and rushed her daughter to the ER for stitches. The ring was lost in the chaos.

Seven months later, Sergio Gallardo, a former mechanic at the dealership, found the ring on the ground between two cars. He showed it to his friend Marissa Gonzalez, who called the Texas Exes for help. Receptionist and class ring wizard Pat Spradlin—who has reunited dozens of lost rings with their owners during her 16 years at the Alumni Center—then worked her magic to figure out whose it was.

“We usually look at the year, degree, and initials on the ring. Sometimes it’s so worn that it’s nearly impossible to make out the details,” Spradlin says.

Luckily for Beard, the engraving on her ring was still legible. Beard says she was thrilled to get an email from Spradlin letting her know the ring had been found.

“I was so relieved and curious as to where in the world I had left it,” she says.

After exchanging emails and contact information, the two finders arranged a meeting with Beard last weekend. Although Gallardo refused payment, Beard and her daughter, who is a Girl Scout, rewarded him with a large supply of Girl Scout cookies.

On Facebook, Beard posted, “I’m so grateful there are still honest people out there.”

Photo courtesy Ashlyn Rackley Beard.


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