How did the tradition of college class rings originate?
It is believed that the first class rings were designed by members of the West Point class of 1835. The class members each designed their own ring, which were made to order, and purchased them at their own expense. The new “tradition” floundered somewhat in the beginning, with no ring being adopted in 1836. But the next year, the rings were once again designed for the graduating class, and the tradition continues today. You can read more about the West Point class ring story here.
If you’ve been trying to decide whether or not to have your class ring inscribed, these stories may help you make up your mind!
The Richmond Hill Historical Society has a story on their website about a man who purchased nine U.S. class rings that he found for sale in Vietnam, one of which belonged to a Richmond HIll graduate. Rob Geesen brought them back to the U.S. to find their rightful owners, or, since he assumed they belonged to solders who had been killed during the war, to return the rings to the families of the soldiers. Read the story about the intense negotiations that were required to obtain the rings here.
In 1988, R.C. Bundy, a recent Wyoming high school graduate, went on a graduation trip to Hawaii with his parents. While scuba diving, he lost his brand new class ring in about 65 feet of water. His mother was furious with him!!Today, Bundy works in Denver, Colorado. He recently received a phone call from Lindsay Holt, who found his class ring recently while scuba diving off the same beach in Hawaii. She was able to track him down through the inscription on the ring, which read “R.C. Bundy, Gillette, Wyoming 1988.” She and her father called the Gillette newspaper, and they were able to provide her with Bundy’s phone number. In a strange coincidence, Holt also resides in Denver, where she attends the University of Denver. She will return the ring to Bundy in person when she returns for classes in the fall. It truly is a small world! This story was reported by Channel 4 in Denver, Colorado.
Read another story of a class ring found – this one found in Florida after 30 years!
Where should you look if you lose your college class ring?
Try your alumni association if you lose a college class ring. Many have websites, like these: