Class of 2022 Ring Event
The Class of 2022 has waited a long time for this eventful evening. It is class ring time! Typical Colorado weather tried to crash the party, but thankfully the rain held off and the sun came out which allowed for some great photos. Due to Covid restrictions civilian dates were unable to attend and there was no dance. There was a get together outside on the Terrazzo with a DJ after the dance before everyone headed out for the weekend to celebrate.
Everyone was in great spirits prior to the dinner meeting up with friends, taking pictures, and making memories.
History of the Class Ring
The American college tradition of the class ring began with the class of 1835 at the U.S. Military Academy. From there, it spread to the U.S. Naval Academy in the class of 1869. The Air Force Academy continued the tradition, beginning with the first class, 1959, and so is the only service academy to have had class rings for every class since its founding.
The Air Force ring is distinctive for being white gold instead of the yellow gold used at the other academies. Each class designs its own class crest; the only requirements being that each crest includes all the elements on the Class of 1959's crest: the class number, the class year, the Polaris star, and the eagle. One side of the ring bears the academy crest, while the other side bears the class crest; the center bezel bears the words United States Air Force Academy. Cadets choose their own stones for the center of the ring. The rings are received at the Ring Dance at the beginning of the Graduation Week festivities for the class ahead of the ring recipients.
During the cadet's first class (senior) year, the ring is worn with the class crest facing the wearer; following graduation, the ring is turned so that the class crest faces out. The rings of all the academies were originally designed to be worn on the left hand, so that the wearer reads the name of the academy on the bezel while a cadet or midshipman and others can read it after graduation, but the rings are now worn on either hand (usually the right).
The Academy's Association of Graduates (AOG) accepts rings of deceased graduates, which are melted down to form an ingot of white gold from which a portion of all future rings are made. Both the academy's Association of Graduates and the Academy Library maintain displays of class rings.
This year the Guest Speaker for the evening was Gen Glen D. Vanherck, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command. Gen. Vanherck spoke about his time in the military, the meaning of serving and looking into the future of their military career.
The Toast was given by USAFA Commandant, Gen. Michele Edmondson.
Superintendent Gen. Clark told the class a story about his class ring. He got his ring like all Juniors that year and his had the Tiger stone in the middle, which he called "eye of the tiger'. At one point he lost the ring and did not have it for several years. During his time at USAFA as the Commandant he went to a Ring Dining In and his wife surprised him with a new Class Ring. Gen. Clark said the new ring meant just as much, if not more, than his original class ring.
Enjoy more photos from this evenings Ring Dining In!
To view photos from the Ring Dining In, go to Classes > 2022 > Ring Dining In. Set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Select start page (1-77). Or click on the link below.