One of my favorite authors is Pat Conroy. I've loved his work since the early books The Water is Wide and The Great Santini all the way through his later works The Prince of Tides and My Losing Season. He just released a new book that Lynn has been reading during her lunch here at the studio and it reminded me of how much I liked what he has to say. He has a lot to say about the events of life that shape us as people. He appreciates the South as someone who has lived many places and has returned here time and again. He has written three different books about his college years at The Citadel and he returned there to give a commencement speech in 2001 that carries the line, "I wear the ring." He is talking, of course, about his Citadel class ring but I usually remember this line almost every morning when I put on my Meredith College class ring. They are completely different schools, of course, but the class rings are so recognizable to fellow alumnae. I probably don't go a month that someone somewhere doesn't glance down at my finger and ask "did you go to Meredith?" It's a bond I share with so many other women and I am always proud to answer "yes, I did." It was the perfect college experience for a small-town girl from Conway and I cherish the memories I have of those years. I'm still from North Carolina and, if I have to choose between State and Carolina and Duke I can, but the best college, in my opinion, is Meredith.
"I wear the ring."