The Big Dip

By: Hunter McConnell


Pictured: Kirsten Richardson, dipped in pride!

The Big Dip is a tradition only practiced at Stephen F. Austin State University. Big Dip stands for “dipped in pride.” Students who are eligible to participate in the Big Dip, have completed a minimum of 60 hours in the classroom and have earned the right to order an SFA ring. Students will receive an invitation to the ceremony and to order their ring. This event is held in the fall and spring semesters here, at SFA. There are two main styles of the ring to choose from, ranging in different colors and finishes. The Big Dip consist of students joining each other in a ceremony that is held in the Student Center on campus. Each student gets to go on the stage and dip their hand, formed in the axe ‘em hand sign, in a bowl of purple dye. The dye will stay on your hand for up to two days after the ceremony. It may come off sooner depending on the amount of times you wash your hands. Most students love that the dye stays on, because they are able to be noticed for getting their rings. The water for the dye is collected from the iconic surfin’ steve statue, located in the middle of campus.

“The Big Dip is such a fun experience for each student to take place in, it really makes you realize how special SFA is to you,” Kirsten Richardson, a senior at SFA.

After the students dip their hand, they get to shake the University President, Baker Patillo’s hand and pose for a picture. All of the students are asked to not open their ring box until everyone gets their rings. This is hard for the students to fight the urge to not bust the box open!

Tradition is a huge things for the students, faculty and alumni of the University. The Big Dip is a fun thing for everyone to come together and remember why they all love SFA so much.

10th Annual Dip


Pictured: SFA student dipping their hand in the dye

The whole Nacogdoches community comes together to help the students that are receiving their rings, feel supported and congratulated on their recent endeavor. By doing so, when you participate in the Big Dip you receive a card showing all of the discounts offered around town to the students that just got their ring. All you have to do is show your hand dipped in purple and showing off your new shiny gold or silver ring!

“When I got my ring I was so excited, but what made it even more exciting was that I got to go around Nacogdoches and receive congratulations from all of the members of Nacogdoches,” Richardson said.

After all of the recipients get their rings, they are asked to follow a volunteer to a location on campus to take a group photo. The photo is a great way for all of the students to pose and show their excitement after the ceremony. All of the photos from the event are posted on the SFASU Facebook page. This makes them easily accessible and lets anyone get to look at them and share with friends and family.

This semester the Big Dip will be held on May fifth. All students are encouraged to dress casually, but not encouraged to wear white. This is because the dye is dark purple and will easily stain clothes. Doors open at 11a.m. and seating for guests are limited and not guaranteed. There are two different ceremonies depending on the first letter of your last name.

For more information on the ceremony, click here 

For more information on the SFA ring, click here

For more information on SFA traditions, click here