The defining “Clemson Moment” came 24 days later than Lucy Stevens originally expected, but that didn’t make Friday’s surprise any less sweet.

The Greenwood, South Carolina native left Sikes Hall just after noon, thinking she was carrying out a typical errand for Vice President for Student Affairs Almeda Jacks.

“Mrs. Kathy (Hensen), our administrative assistant, said she needed me to bring some inter-office mail to Almeda in the Peebles room at the Hendrix Center,” she said. “It was a completely normal request; I didn’t think anything of it until I walked in and saw my parents.”

To Lucy’s surprise, Jerry and Meg Stevens had driven up from her hometown and delivered a special gift — her Clemson ring.

Almeda Jacks, Vice President for Student Affairs, with senior Lucy Stevens and family

Almeda Jacks (second from left) and the Stevens family.
Image Credit: Taryn Carroll

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Lucy was set to receive her ring with 2018 classmates in Littlejohn Coliseum. But there was one small problem. A box with her name on it didn’t appear on the table at the presentation of rings on the lawn next to the Scroll of Honor Memorial.

“Lucy has been involved in ring ceremonies as a student alumni council member for a while now, and this was finally her year,” Jerry said. “We were going through the line of boxes and got to S, and we immediately realized the ring wasn’t there. And she just broke down in tears.”

Despite the disappointment from a mix-up with the ring manufacturer, Lucy pressed on and even called names and presented rings to her fellow classmates. It was her sixth ring ceremony since joining the student alumni council.

President James P. Clements presenting rings to seniors, with Lucy Stevens in the background helping distribute boxes

Stevens (purple) helped present rings to seniors at the fall ceremony on Oct. 24.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

The Stevens family worked quickly to make sure the ring was ordered. It arrived at her home in Greenwood this week, and Lucy was anxiously anticipating its arrival after tracking it online.

“The ring came in the other day, and I had recently met Kathy Hensen,” Jerry said. “So I called her up and asked if, instead of just handing her the ring tomorrow before The Citadel game, she thought maybe someone in Student Affairs could present it to her.”

Lucy, a fourth-generation Clemson student and president of the school’s Delta Delta Delta sorority chapter, began working in the vice president’s office this past summer. Jerry and Meg arrived at the Hendrix Center about 15 minutes prior to Lucy, and delivered the ring.

When Lucy entered the senior staff meeting, she was greeted by Jacks with a warm hug and surprising turn into the spotlight.

“Many of you know Lucy,” Jacks told her staff. “She has worked with us for a little while now and does a great job. After a little bit of a mix-up, we worked with her parents to present her class ring and make it a special moment for her.”

Mission accomplished. After reacting with surprise when Jerry and Meg entered the room, Lucy gladly slid the ring on, and embraced the Clemson Moment.

Lucy Stevens, a senior, with Vice President for Student Affairs Almeda Jacks

Stevens displays her new Clemson ring, which was presented Friday at a staff meeting by Vice President for Student Affairs Almeda Jacks.
Image Credit: Taryn Carroll

“I had no clue this was coming, they did not need to do that,” she said. “My time has really flown by here. It’s cool to think that my great grandfather was here, and now I’m getting ready to graduate. Working with Student Affairs has taken my experience and made it that much better, because I’ve learned so much more about Clemson. The staff is just incredible. Even though I may not be here a year from now, I will always be a part of the Clemson Family.

“No one can ever take away your Clemson Experience, but this ring is a tangible representation of it. It’s here now and fits, so it’s awesome.”