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Best Clemson Tradition: Clemson Ring

Courtesy // Clemson Alumni Association
The traditional and dinner versions of the Clemson Ring are available for students who have completed 90 or more credit hours.

Just a few years after the opening of Clemson University, the class ring made its debut in 1896. In the nearly 130 years since, the ring has become one of the most iconic parts of the University’s culture. Uniting the community, the design of the ring has remained unchanged since 1936. Generations of Clemson students share their class rings as a symbol of what the Clemson family is all about.

The ring, for many students, is a reward for making it to the final stretch of their college career. When students finish 90 credit hours of their degree at Clemson, the standard number at the beginning of their senior year, they become eligible to purchase a ring.

There are three styles that a student can choose from: the traditional ring, the dinner ring or the small traditional ring. The ring is highly customizable for each student’s preferences. Some adaptable elements include the type of metal, degree letters, graduation year and engravings. The personality of every student can shine when they create their own customization for this great milestone.

With the purchase of the ring comes an invitation to the Ring Ceremony. Established in 2000, the ceremony is a newer addition to the tradition of the ring. However, it instantly became an inseparable part of the legacy that the ring holds. With two ceremonies days per year, one each fall and spring semester — and, newly, this academic year, three ceremonies a day — the Ring Ceremony has grown exponentially since its inception. No student is left without the opportunity to walk the stage and collect their ring from President Clements. This spring semester’s Ring Ceremonies will be held on April 14 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The Clemson Ring has cultivated its own unique culture on and off campus. Meeting alumni whose rings read numbers like ‘88, ‘97, ‘10 or any other year is a reminder that, as time passes, the legacy of each graduating year becomes greater. Soon enough, the class of 2024 will be one of the classes that future Clemson students look up to as the seasoned alumni of the Clemson family who bear the same ring that they will soon earn themselves.

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Natalie Peck
Natalie Peck, Columnist
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