Ring Premiere is a Virginia Tech tradition that has taken place for over 100 years. Each year the ring is unlike any other that has come before it and is tailored specifically for that year’s junior class by a Leadership Team.
The Leadership Team is chosen annually through an application and interview process in October of each member’s sophomore year. Once appointed, the team works closely with the class officers to design and produce the class ring, and then organize the Ring Premiere in the fall and host the Ring Dance in the spring.
The Class of 2015 Ring Design Committee, a subcommittee comprised of eight members from the team, has met weekly since being appointed a year ago to create and present a unique ring collection for the junior class.
Junior communication major and the co-chair of marketing Katie Agnos said Virginia Tech is one of the few universities in the country that allows each class to design their own ring.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much behind-the-scenes work the team has put into it,” Agnos said.
During their meetings, the eight committee members discuss design ideas, draw them out and eventually collaborate with a graphic designer from Balfour to render the final design.
“We met the entire year leading up to Ring Premiere and spent a lot of time trying to identify what we could put on the ring so that it will embody the spirit of the Class of 2015,” said Austin Tatum, a junior psychology major and the ring design committee chair.
“One of the things that we agreed on unanimously was that our class is a fun, bold, unique and different class,” he said.
With these vibrant keywords in mind, the committee was inspired by a Blacksburg sunset, which embodies the class colors of coral, bronze and
“We challenged ourselves and really tried to think about presenting the traditional elements in a new way and making it something that no other class ring has ever had before,” Tatum said.
The Class of 2015 ring has two sides — a university side with non-negotiable elements that are traditionally included, but can be tweaked and presented in new ways, and a class side, which is specifically tailored to each junior class.
The committee has worked to ensure that each student from the Class of 2015 will connect to the ring and find relevance to their time at Tech in its design. Tatum said they conducted an email survey of the class for feedback on what students wanted to see on the ring.
“There are things in our design that can appeal to literally every member of the Class of 2015, and being able to be part of the process that makes that happen has been such a blessing,” Tatum said. “I think that it’s going to be a really special moment that’s unifying for the Class of 2015.”
The 2015 Leadership Team saw the ring for the first time last Wednesday after an entire year of collaboration and design work.
“So many members of our team were amazed by it,” said Alicia Azzi, a junior political science major and a ring design committee member. “We want the class to get excited, and I feel like they will be after the
The premiere event is tonight, when the committee will unveil the design to the university at 8 p.m. in the Burruss Hall auditorium. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to witness the debut, including those who are not in the Class of
“There is so much depth and meaning behind the ring that the committee put into it, I think there’s going to be a really good reaction,” Agnos said.
The committee members saved the meaning behind each detail for the premiere event, but Alfonso Maher, a junior human, food, nutrition and exercise major and the committee’s cadet member at large, said they have been itching to get the rings on their fingers, because its design is unique to the junior class.
“I definitely think it’s the best class ring that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Maher said. “But I guess you could say I’m a little biased.”