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.

The Hokie Gold Legacy Program was initiated by class members from the 1964 M Company of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, with support from the Alumni Association. The inaugural Hokie Gold Legacy ring melt occurred May 2012. Rings collected by December 2011 were included in the melt at the VTFIRE foundry on the Virginia Tech campus.

Representatives from the Classes of 1964 and 2014 were present at the ceremony. The resulting metal was given to Balfour, the current class ring company, for refining and inclusion in the Class of 2014 rings. The most recent melt was on September 27, 2013, with members of the Class of 2015 ring design committee. To continue the program in perpetuity, a small amount of Hokie Gold will be reserved from each year’s melt to be included in the following year’s Hokie Gold melting for the next class.

Donors can request their ring be displayed instead of melted. Some class rings made of certain alloys cannot be used in the melt. Those rings will also be displayed instead of melted.

Hokie Gold Legacy Program questions can be directed to 540-231-6285 or lwedin@vt.edu.

Program Details

The inaugural Hokie Gold Legacy ring melt took place in spring of 2012. Since then, annually, rings designated for a ring melt are melted by the VTFIRE foundry on campus.

As a part of the ceremony, Bugle yearbooks representing the years of the rings to be melted are assembled. Donor rings placed on the open page of the donor alumnus or alumna photograph if available. The current ring design committee members then places each of these rings in a graphite crucible, saying the name of the alumnus or alumna or spouse who originally wore the ring. A member of the committee carries the crucible of rings into the foundry room. The crucible is heated in a special small furnace. Another member suits up in the required protective gear and pours out the molten gold into molds specially made for the Hokie Gold ring melt. The resulting Hokie gold is given to Balfour, the current ring company, for refining and inclusion in current class rings cast in gold. To continue the program in perpetuity, a small amount of Hokie Gold is reserved from each year's melt to be included in the following year's Hokie Gold melt for the next class.

Rings may also be donated to be retained and not melted.

Donating a Ring

  • A direct donation can be made by a ring owner or any family member or person who has come into lawful possession of a Virginia Tech ring and wants to donate it to the program.
  • A bequest can be made so that family of the ring owner will know the owner’s wishes that the ring be donated to the Hokie Gold Program. Bequest forms may be retained by family until the ring is actually sent to the Alumni Association. A third-party donation form can provide instructions to family members when the ring is passed down to family by the owner.

The donor can designate that the ring be melted into Hokie Gold or retained for future display.

I want to donate a ring for display only. Ring Display Donation (PDF)

I want to donate a ring for melting or display at the discretion of the Alumni Association. Ring Melt Donation (PDF)

If a gift-in-kind value is established by a qualified jewelry appraiser, the documented value may be submitted when the ring is donated to qualify as a tax-deductible gift.

Questions about tax deductibility are a matter between the donor and his or her tax attorney. The Virginia Tech Alumni Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

NOTE: In order to preserve the heritage of the ring program, the Alumni Association reserves the right to retain certain rings if there is not an example of that year's ring in our collection or the donated ring is superior to the one currently in the collection.

We are still looking for Class of 1913, and 1915 through 1919 rings to complete our display collection. Additional early rings from 1911 to 1920 may also be retained.

We will inform the donor if the ring is to be retained for display. Any questions about the program can be directed to the Hokie Gold Legacy Program, 540-231-6285 or lwedin@vt.edu.

Preparation to send the ring

Follow the steps in the Hokie Gold Donation checklist

Removal of stone If any rings to be donated have stones that the owner wishes to retain, they should be removed before sending the ring. Note that stones may not survive the removal process intact, especially genuine stones.

Many class rings have synthetic stones. All stones that have encrusting treatments on the stone (with the exception of black onyx) are synthetic.

If the stones are left intact in the ring, we will have them removed and they may be retained for possible future special use.

Documents to include with the ring:

  • Donation form - complete the donation form applicable to your situation
  • Completed brief (one page) biography of ring owner - If desired, please include a brief biography of the ring's owner so it can be included on the Hokie Gold Legacy website. A list of donors’ names will be created for each year's program. If no biography information is provided, we will simply list the owner, class year, and major while at Virginia Tech.

Sending the ring

  • Ship using confirmed delivery, insured mail through USPS or with UPS to the Alumni Association.
  • Rings should be mailed to the following address:

    Laura Wedin
    Student Programs Director
    Virginia Tech Alumni Association
    Holtzman Alumni Center 0102
    901 Prices Fork Road
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

Confirmation

When the Alumni Association receives a donated ring, an email will be sent to verify its receipt.

An invitation to the Hokie Gold ring melt ceremony will be sent to the email and address listed on the forms. Please forward any address updates to the Alumni Association at alumni@vt.edu.

Forms

Questions about the program can be directed to the Hokie Gold Legacy Program, 540-231-6285 or lwedin@vt.edu.