Wear the Tradition

The Ring Tradition

The VT Class ring embodies and invokes memories, traditions and pride that tie Hokies, young and old, together. The tradition began in the 1911-1912 school session when four classes (1911-1914) designed their rings. The Ring Tradition celebrated 100 years with the 2011 ring. Since the beginning, each Virginia Tech class has designed a ring distinctive and unique to their class. Today, Virginia Tech is one of only a few colleges and universities that redesigns their ring collection each year.

The Ring Tradition Video

Virginia Tech Ring History PDF

The Ring Design

Virginia Tech introduces an entirely new collection of designs for each class. Each year, the Sophomore class selects a Ring Committee responsible for designing their class ring collection. Each collection includes certain elements: the screaming eagle, American flag, campus buildings, and an interlocking chain around the bezel. The screaming eagle evolved from a pair of twin eagles used on the first Virginia Tech ring, symbolizing the twin virtues of strength and freedom. The American flag and campus buildings serve to recognize both the heritage of our country and Virginia Tech. The chain represents the strength of many united as one.

The Ring Dance

A tradition dating from 1934, the Virginia Tech Ring Dance symbolizes the transition from junior to senior. Upon entering the dance, each couple receives a pair of ribbons in the Class colors. The lady wears her date's ring on her wrist with the darker colored ribbon, and the gentleman wears his date's ring on his wrist with the lighter colored ribbon. When the time comes for the Ring Exchange, the Corps of Cadets walk into the ballroom and stand in the shape of the Class numerals. As each couple exchanges rings, "Moonlight and VPI," written specifically for the Ring Dance by composer Fred Waring and lyricist Charles Gaynor, is played. As the clock strikes midnight, the evening ends with an elaborate fireworks display on the Drillfield, and the playing of "Silvertaps."

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How to wear the tradition

Current Students

Current students should wear their rings so that the name Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and/or the honor point on the bezel faces the wearer.

Alumni

Upon graduation, the ring is turned to face out to let the world know the wearer is a Hokie alum. Those who wear the ring proudly state to others, "I am a Hokie, a Virginia Tech graduate who understands the meaning of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)."

How to purchase

Students

Undergraduate Eligibility - To order a Virginia Tech ring, you must have junior status (60 or more hours). Juniors may order their ring after their class' ring premiere, usually in early October of the junior year. Ring-try on week for juniors is usually in early February. Rings ordered by juniors will not be available until ring dance week, usually in late March of their junior year.

Graduate Eligibility - Graduate students must show degree application status or we need verification from an advisor that you will complete your degree within the year of the ring year request. Please include name of advisor with application request.

Alumni

As a Virginia Tech alumnus/a, if you need to purchase, replace, or have your class ring repaired or resized, please contact Shirley Fleet at fleets@vt.edu or fax to 540-231-3039.

Brochures & Ordering Information

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Hokie Gold Legacy Program

Pass on the spirit and traditions of Virginia Tech through the university’s most prestigious tradition – the Virginia Tech class ring. Alumni or families of alumni bequeath or donate their class rings, which are either melted down to create Hokie Gold to be included in the class rings of the next junior class, or retained for future display. 

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Past (Alumni) Rings

See the rings of the past.

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Centennial Big Ring

The gift of the Class of 2011.

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FAQ

Unfortunately, no. Class Rings are specific to class year. If you would like your ring to reflect your class year, you must buy a ring from that collection. Virginia Tech Class Ring warranties include a provision that allows return of a Class Ring for a refund, less class dues, if the student will not graduate from the year which the Class Ring was ordered for purchase.

If you are a student, contact the ring company regarding the repair of your ring. There will not be a charge. If you are an alum, you must contact the Alumni Association for authorization and more information on how to contact your ring company. More information.

You must contact the Alumni Association for authorization and more information on how to contact your ring manufacturer to get your ring resized. More information.

The Ring company is correct. The traditional Class Ring does not designate a degree, only the college. The signet style rings, however, do allow for customizing with degree names.

It is tradition at Virginia Tech that the Class Ring be officially presented to the Junior Class in the spring of their Junior year at Ring Dance. Students do not need to attend Ring Dance to receive their rings, however, by tradition and contract, rings are not released to students until the week of Ring Dance. We suggest you present a card or ring box as the Christmas gift presentation.

In a time-honored tradition, the Virginia Tech Ring Collection is redesigned each year and is specifically for that Class year. Ring companies, by contract, are not allowed to change the Class year on any Virginia Tech ring, nor do repair or replacement of a Class ring without approval from the Alumni Association.

Lost and Found Class Rings

If you have found a Virginia Tech Class Ring, please check for a name and/or social security number on the inside of the ring. Contact Shirley Fleet at the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, fleets@vt.edu or call 540-231-6285. Give us the name, year and college, and any other identifying information on the class ring to help us find the owner.

If you have lost your Virginia Tech Class Ring, you may leave your name and contact number with Shirley Fleet at fleets@vt.edu or 540-231-6285.