Cruz Perez

Cruz Perez

Senior Political Science Major

Receiving a Baylor Ring is a cherished tradition that marks a milestone as Baylor students become Baylor alumni. For Cruz Perez, a senior political science major with a minor in religion, his Baylor Ring symbolizes the achievement of a dream he once thought out of reach.

“I’ve worked hard to be here and have overcome many challenges in my life. I came from a small East Texas town and a rough home life, so this idea of being able to go to a big, prestigious university like Baylor seemed like it was out of the question,” Cruz said.

The support of others in his life—trusted teachers and mentors—pushed Cruz to apply to Baylor, and he transferred from Tyler Junior College in 2020.

Cruz Perez

“I just fell in love with the campus,” he said. “As soon as I got here, I truly felt at home—the classes, the people I met, being challenged both spiritual and intellectually—that’s how I knew I was at the right place.”

Still, approaching his senior year, the cost of an Official Baylor Ring seemed daunting, he said. That’s when Cruz learned about and applied for the Official Baylor Ring Scholarship. He was selected as the second-ever recipient.

“I’m extremely grateful to receive this scholarship,” he said. “For me, to have that ring on my finger it is an act of remembrance of the hard work it took to get here, the work I did as a student, and the impact Baylor has had on my life.”

Cruz plans to graduate in May and, following a gap year to prepare for the LSAT, he hopes to attend law school. When he envisions himself as an attorney, he imagines positively impacting others with the education he has been fortunate to receive.

“This ring is not just about me; it’s even more significant to my family. It symbolizes the future, too—all of the people I’m hopefully going to impact with the education I received at Baylor.”

Cruz Perez

He added: “Baylor has changed my life, and I would not be who I am today without this experience.”

Each purchase of the Official Baylor Ring supports the Official Baylor Ring Scholarship Fund, established to help ensure students in need are able to participate in the Official Baylor Ring tradition. The continued growth of the fund will make it possible to award the scholarship to multiple students each year; students like Cruz who demonstrate academic excellence and who are devoted Baylor Bears.

The next Official Baylor Ring scholarship application window will open in advance of Spring Ring Week, Feb. 21-26, 2022.

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Give Light is a $1.1 billion comprehensive campaign for the future of Baylor University. The campaign undergirds Illuminate, the University's Academic Strategic Plan, and will impact every aspect of campus life, from academics and athletics to student life and global engagement.