Wanting to honor their class’s 50th anniversary reunion and create a lasting legacy, Jess Fowler ’64 and other class members from 1964 M Company of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets proposed a special program designed to pass on the spirit and traditions of Virginia Tech through the university’s most prestigious tradition – the Virginia Tech class ring.
The program enables alumni or families of alumni to bequeath or donate their class rings to be melted down to create Hokie Gold, which is then included in the gold for the class rings of the next junior class. Other universities, including West Point and Annapolis, have such a program in place. Alumni can choose to make a bequest for their ring to be donated to Hokie Gold upon their death. Class rings may be directly donated by alumni or family members.
The Class of 1964 will host the inaugural Hokie Gold program in spring 2012 with donations of classmate’s rings along with other donated alumni rings. The rings will be melted at the new VT FIRE – Foundry Institute for Research and Education on campus. The resulting ingot or ‘billet’ will then be refined at the Balfour manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas, and processed into tiny pellets so that a small amount can be included into all of the Class of 2014 gold rings. A portion of the first Hokie Gold will be saved to be included in the following year’s program. Thereafter, each year a new group of donated rings will be melted for inclusion in the next junior class rings.
The donation period for rings will follow the calendar year. Rings donated by December of each year will be made into Hokie Gold that following spring. For each year of Hokie Gold, biographical information will be compiled for owners of donated rings.
Six classmates of 1964 have already made bequests to donate their class rings to Hokie Gold. It is Fowler’s wish that the program will be continued in perpetuity, to carry the heritage of Hokie Gold ahead into the rings worn by future Hokies.
Questions? Call 540-231-6285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.