BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 4, 2012 – Virginia Tech class rings are steeped in tradition dating back more than 100 years, but a new addition this year will give an additional meaning to the connection of all Hokies.
As part of the tradition, all of the gold rings in the 2014 series will contain recycled gold from class rings that were donated by Virginia Tech alumni. The “Hokie Gold” legacy program was spearheaded by the class of 1964 alumni as their 50th anniversary. The gold was melted at the university’s Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry. The resulting gold will be incorporated into gold 2014 rings. A small portion was saved and will go into the making of next year’s “Hokie Gold.”
“This is a tradition we hope will continue for years to come,” said Laura Wedin, director of student programs at the Alumni Association. “We think it’s very symbolic of the connection between all alumni of Virginia Tech.”
The Virginia Tech class ring tradition began in the 1911-12 school session when four classes (1911-14) designed their rings. Since then each class has designed a ring distinctive and unique to its class. Today Virginia Tech is one of a few colleges and universities that redesign their ring collection each year.
The design will be unveiled amidst great fanfare at the annual Ring Premiere to be held Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. at Burruss Hall. The event, a multimedia extravaganza, will recognize The Honorable Danny W. Bird Jr., who received his degree in agriculture in 1960 and is the 2014 class ring namesake and John Dooley, chief executive officer for the Virginia Tech Foundation, who serves as the sponsor for the Class of 2014.See video of last year's ring premiere:
The ring tradition is not one taken lightly at Virginia Tech. Each year, the sophomore class selects a Ring Committee responsible for designing and marketing their class ring collection, adding elements that reflect their class experiences on the class side of the ring itself. All designs have an eagle and crossed sabers, usually found on the university side of the ring that symbolizes the military heritage and tradition of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. A traditional element since 1940, an interlocking chain encircles the bezel of the ring, representing class unity, the strength of many united as one.
“The class ring at Virginia Tech holds such meaning and is so significant in the lives of our students and alumni,” Wedin said. “It symbolizes their success and tremendous loyalty to the university.” Wedin said the university ranked second in the nation for class ring sales among all colleges and universities.
The ring season concludes with an equally festive ring dance that will be held March 23, 2013, at Squires Student Center.
The Virginia Tech Alumni Association keeps the Hokie Nation connected through networking, services, and involvement. The Alumni Association has no membership dues and all alumni are automatically members for life. Alumni chapters, reunions, homecomings, communications and directories, advocacy, student engagement, and recognizing excellence among faculty, students, and alumni are hallmarks of our service to the university. The cornerstone of our core values is embodied by the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).