Showing class pride with a class ring

+The+class+ring+is+one+of+many+ways+to+commemorate+high+school+and+college+graduations+and+is+a+tradition+that+has+been+a+part+of+the+history+of+the+U.S.+for+many+years.+

Joel Molina

The class ring is one of many ways to commemorate high school and college graduations and is a tradition that has been a part of the history of the U.S. for many years.

Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter

From high school to college graduations, there are plenty of ways for graduates to keep memories or souvenirs from their times at school. One way is by buying a class ring, which can be customized with symbols or achievements that tell you and other people about your identity during your time in school. Now, as graduation comes closer and closer, some students may be asking themselves whether to purchase one right now. 

The tradition of the class ring is deeply rooted in the United States, making it a predominantly American practice. According to Fashionista, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, was the first institution to have students graduate and take class rings with them in 1835. From there, the new trend began to spread throughout the country and is now a tradition with colleges and high schools across the U.S. 

At first, class rings were uniform in design and pertained to the school one graduated from. Today, these rings can be personally customized and designed with symbols or other things pertaining to a student’s accomplishments and student identity. 

“From a dull wax model to final gleaming product, each personalized ring takes dozens of workers, each a master in their step of the process, dozens of hours to complete,” said Gary Scheaffer, a former Jostens employee. “No ring leaves the factory without assuring it meets the customers specification.”  

Signifying ones’ time at their institution and other details of their academic journey, the class ring is a symbol itself. 

Tying into the tradition of wearing rings, the class ring is also supposed to go on the ring finger of the right hand, that way it will not be confused with the ring finger on the left hand.

According to “The Complete Book of Etiquette” by Amy Vanderbilt, the insignia on the ring is also supposed to face outward so that people can easily see it.  

The U.S. is not the only country in the world with traditions for alumni who keep their school memories with them after graduation. In the United Kingdom, graduates of their school or military unit will wear the necktie that belonged to said institution. In Canada, the class rings are more like gold bands, and signify a more intimate relationship between a graduate and their alma mater. 

There are plenty of options for graduates to show their school pride and the relationship they carry with it. Class rings are just one of the many ways people can show others about the school they went to, segments of their student identity and the memories they made during the time spent there. 

Elisha Nunez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]