The Virginia Tech ring collection has become one of the University's most revered and prestigious traditions since its beginning. The Ring program is unique from other colleges in that the collection is completely redesigned each year, making it a highly anticipated tradition within the University.
Fred Prosser, 1911 Class President, first began the Virginia Tech Ring tradition when he brought his ideas to his fellow classmates during a senior class meeting where a consensus on a class ring could not be met. Upset at the lack of a class ring, Prosser, now a graduate student at the University, decided that the Class of 1911 needed a class ring to symbolize their time at Virginia Tech. After appealing to his former peers, the class of 1911 decided to go forward with creating the first class ring at Virginia Tech. Prosser then went to a jeweler with his own drafted drawing of the design which included a screaming eagle, a cannon barrel, a Victorian shield, a crossed sabre and rifle, and oak leaves. The first class ring had a flat flushstone (many being amethyst) with a bezel top. Prosser himself arranged for the sale and shipment of the rings.
It is from Fred Prosser's beginning idea that the very first Virginia Tech class ring was born and with it a tradition that has lived on for 98 years!
The Class of 1914 was the first to choose a committee to design a ring that would be unique and significant to each graduating class. Since that time a Class Ring Design Committee has been selected from members of the sophomore class who are challenged with the task of creating a collection symbolizing the spirit of the class, combined with the pride of the University. Along with designing the collection, a namesake is bestowed: a tradition that was founded by Julian A. Burruss in 1991. The Class of 2009 is presenting the namesake to Mr. William C. Latham.
The ring collection is unveiled to the class in the fall of their junior year at Ring Premiere. Since 1934, the rings are officially presented to the class the following spring at Ring Dance. Recognizing time honored traditions, the Class of 2009 has designed a collection that pays tribute to the University and the rich history that accompanies it, while hoping to leave its imprint on the University.