Class Ring Traditions

The class ring is a long-standing tradition for most students. It is a physical reminder of the years of hard work and effort put into graduating from high school or college. Where did class ring traditions come from? What should you know about being a part of this tradition?

The History of Class Ring Traditions

The history of class rings dates all the way back to 1835. Originally a military accessory, class rings were given to graduates of West Point, a prominent federal service academy for the United States military. Over the years, they became a staple of all graduations to signify the time spent learning and the transition to the next phase of life. For decades, students purchased their school rings on campus. High school class rings were available for only a limited time, and students were forced to wait 8-10 weeks for all of the rings to be made and delivered to the school. This was not only inconvenient but if you missed that window, you were left without a class ring. Today, students and their families can buy this important accessory online with ease and affordability. Whether you are a sophomore, junior, senior or alumni, savvy students and their families can save money and time while designing a one-of-a-kind class ring year-round.

How To Wear Class Rings

One tradition holds that once students receive their class rings, it is worn facing the students. This represents their pending graduation. On graduation day, students turn their rings around so that it is facing outward. This shows that the students have graduated. Another custom calls for classmates, family, and teachers to turn the ring. The direction in which they turn it varies at every school; it may be turned clockwise or counter-clockwise. Once the direction has been chosen, it is important to school heritage and tradition to wear it that way.

Ring Ceremonies

Some high schools conduct formal ring ceremonies, where members of the junior or senior class receive their rings all at once. These special ceremonies typically take place in the Fall. In most cases, just the students participate in the ceremony. Student council officers and members of the school administration plan the event. Once the final student's name is called, all of the students stand together and open their ring boxes. At some religious or parochial schools, the rings are blessed by a priest during the ceremony. Some communities choose to invite family and friends to take part in the ring ceremony on school grounds. Parents who have attended the school often bring their own class rings to share in the celebration.

Ring Dances

And yet, some schools choose to hold a ring dance as a more informal ceremony. Typically, students wear the ring facing them to signify the fact they haven't graduated. During the annual ring dance, the students' rings are turned around to face the world, as the graduates are ready for the next chapter in their lives. At the dance, students receive their class rings. Ring dances usually take place in the Fall or Spring. Spring ring dances are for high school juniors. Fall ring dances are for seniors.

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