Ah, class rings. Just thinking of class rings brings to mind going steady, turning of the class ring (my mom always had to remind me which way it was to go), and graduation.   Be it college or high school, class rings typically remind us of our youth and our ambitions.

I have always loved class rings. They are so intricate and tell a story about the Alma Mater and/or the wearer.  Although I appreciate their beauty, I only have two class rings of my own. One was from high school days and the other from my doctorate.

My high school ring was actually my sister’s high school ring that had the year changed to become mine.  We were penny pinchers and to be honest, once in college no one wears a high school ring anyway.  We repurposed!

For my undergraduate degree I did not get a class ring (like high school, so many do not wear them after college). However, later, when I worked at the university from which I graduated, I served on a committee to redesign the class ring.  At that point I got one for my MBA.  A year or two later when I received my doctorate, I had it changed to reflect that degree.

The rings I really love and enjoy are my mom’s and aunts’ rings.  I have my mom’s high school graduation ring, which is beautiful.  I used to wear it a great deal because it is so pretty.  It is all gold, with blackening in the details.  On top is a shield with the letters “SS,” for Sulphur Springs.  I also have my mom’s, Aunt E’s  and Aunt Pinkie’s ETSU class rings.  They all match with a large red stone in the middle. Aunt E wore her ring daily, so it is worn almost smooth.  Aunt Pinkie and my mom did not, so their rings are pristine.

It is really amazing to see all the detail that goes into these rings, which are really little synopses of an important time in life.  With high school and college graduation around the corner, it seems fitting to pull out the old class rings and wear them for a day or two.

Bonus Information:  The ring faces you (is readable to you) until you graduate and outward after graduation.  Of course, it should be worn on the fourth finger (ring finger) of your right hand.

Some schools have their own traditions about class rings.  Traditions also differ by region and state.


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