Darryl Morris, accompanied by his seven-year-old daughter Madlynn, claims his long-lost Texas A&M ring from Pasadena ISD Officer Seth King.
By CHRISTINA FRANCISCO
Pasadena ISD Communications
We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we.
True to each other as Aggies can be.
These are words from the school song of Texas A&M -- "The Spirit of Aggieland" -- words etched in the heart of every Aggie. In the past few weeks, these words have had even more meaning for Darryl Morris.
Last week Morris was reunited with his beloved Aggie ring, a keepsake he hadn't seen in six years. Lost - or likely stolen -- in 2006, the ring was returned to Morris after some diligent detective work by Pasadena ISD police.
"You can't really describe what that ring means to someone who doesn't know," said Morris, a 1993 A&M graduate.
An Aggie ring is perhaps the most celebrated of the many traditions at A&M. Students are allowed to order a ring only after meeting certain academic criteria at the university. Around the world, it helps Aggies quick identify other Aggies.
"People will look and see if you have a college ring, then look to check if it's a ring from Texas A&M University," said Morris, now the director of human resources and public relations for the Columbia-Brazoria ISD.
Morris last saw his ring in early 2006. After attending a school board meeting, he returned to his apartment in Katy and tucked away the ring away in its usual place -- a box stashed inside a computer-desk drawer.
The next morning, Morris says, following a visit from a cable technician, Morris went to get his ring. It wasn't there. He reported the incident as a theft to local police. His report, he says, was lost in paperwork.
Then, in early July, a Pasadena ISD employee found a gold college ring on the ground in the rear parking lot of The Summit, the district's multi-purpose complex on East Sam Houston Parkway. The markings were clear: a Texas A&M ring, Class of 1993 - and on the inside was a name.
"Darryl Lynn Morris."
The ring was turned over to Pasadena ISD Officer Mike Y'Barbo, himself an Aggie graduate. After spending a week trying to locate "Darryl Lynn Morris," Y'Barbo went on vacation. He turned over the information to Officer Seth King, a graduate of Texas A&M at Galveston.
"Truly, it looked too easy to not solve," said Stewart Russell, the Pasadena ISD's chief of police. "Being an A&M ring with his name on it, how could we not find this guy?"
But King discovered it wasn't as easy as it seemed.
"The connections weren't made where you'd expect them to be," said King.
King was given only a name, a class year and a couple of old addresses to track down Morris. After a few dead ends, King unearthed a string of leads that eventually led him to a working phone number.
"I got the call last Tuesday, and I have just been on pins and needles ever since," Morris said. "It's like a dream. I can't believe I'm going to get to wear it again.
"It was nice to help, especially when I found out it was stolen," King said. "Even though we couldn't get the guy that took it, it was nice to get him his property back. We try to do the best we can for everybody."
Morris said the ring symbolizes more than just his love of A&M. The ring was given to him, those many years ago, by his wife and son.
"It's exciting," Morris said. "It's really wonderful. It nearly brought me to tears.""