Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

"The Day Has Finally Come!" StFX senior class receives coveted X-Rings

December 3rd, 2017
X-Ring 2017
StFX students celebrate after receiving their X-Rings on December 3, 2017.

Click here to watch the 2017 StFX X-Ring Ceremony!


St. Francis Xavier University was brimming with energy and excitement today, December 3, 2017, as almost 900 students received what’s become a global symbol of StFX pride and perseverance: their X-Ring.

“The day has finally come!” exclaimed StFX President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kent MacDonald ’86 ’93 upon greeting students at StFX’s Charles V. Keating Centre.

In his remarks, Dr. MacDonald welcomed friends and family of students who watched the ceremony from overflow rooms on campus, as well as those joining from across the globe via live-stream.

He also spoke about his perspective on what sets StFX students apart.

“I get asked often what makes StFX students different than others,” said Dr. MacDonald. “One of the things I’m proudest of about our students is their ability think as non-conformists,” noting it was the leadership of such students that lead to the re-establishment of the December 3rd X-Ring ceremony in 1982.

“If there’s anything the world needs today, it’s people who are willing to look at problems in a different way. And that’s what we do here at StFX.”


Senior class co-president Alex Corrigan addressed his fellow X-Ring recipients by recalling a conversation with a graduate from the Coady International Institute, who remarked that the most memorable learning experiences take place during discussions and interactions with others.

“In that time together, we teach each other important things,” said Alex. “We learn about new cultures and parts of the world we’ve never seen. We learn to communicate, articulate and debate both effectively and respectfully.

“I hope when you look at your X-Ring, you’ll remember these important lessons that we’ve learned from each other.”


Emily Paige Mork introduced the ceremony’s guest speaker, Robyn Tingley ’96, who last month was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. In her remarks, she encouraged students to stay true to the Xaverian values that continue to make StFX strong.

“StFX is bigger than all of us,” she said. “It’s a collection of all our actions, and the idea we hold each other to a higher standard. It’s the idea that 100 years from now, StFX will still stand as the best testament to global leadership and community-mindedness anywhere in the world.

“You are now one of us, and we will always welcome you into this wonderful, connected community of ours. No matter where your journey takes you, let your X-Ring serve as a reminder not only of what your X-Ring means to you, but what you mean to it.”

Glenn Horne ’07 ‘08, president of the StFX Alumni Association, delivered the Alumni Greeting to all assembled.

“1184 days ago, most of you stepped onto this campus for the first time as students. Today, the count down for your X-Ring is over! Take a moment and breathe it in.”

He also encouraged students to embrace the meaning behind their X-Rings.  

“The X-Ring’s meaning, as a symbol of justice, community and perseverance, is embodied by everyone who wears it. It has been crafted by those who wore it before us, and it’s now yours to carry forward.”


Each year, an honorary X-Ring is given to a member of the StFX community who exemplifies Xaverian values. This year, the honour was bestowed on Dr. Roy Rasmussen, a professor in the department of human kinetics who – in his almost 50-year career at StFX – has consistently epitomized academic excellence and inspired both students and faculty alike. In announcing the honour, student Erin Visser described Dr. Rasmussen as a man who is always listening to students and putting their needs above his own.  

During the ceremony, Tamara Cremo offered words of welcome and Fr. Gary MacPherson ‘72, university chaplain, delivered the invocation. Evan Davison-Kotler gave an explanation of the StFX motto, while Corrina Degen read a passage from the writings of Dr. Moses Coady. Senior class co-president Rachel LeBlanc served as master of ceremonies.

Students Rebecca Charnock, Josh Machan, Cassandra Mann, Joshua Parsons and Yaxin Yang performed a lively musical interlude that was written especially for the ceremony. Annie Sirois, President of the StFX Students’ Union, led the senior class in reciting the Xaverian Commitment that all students sign at the beginning of their first year of study.

Jami Campbell, Jacqueline Mackay, Erin Visser and Mary Jessie MacLellan ’87, Director of Alumni Affairs, also lead the group in singing the StFX University song, Hail and Health.

As students departed the hall, they tapped their new rings against a wooden kneeler from the StFX chapel, a tradition dating back to when the ceremony was still small enough to be held in that space. 

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