Class of 2013 Ring Memorial
Cadets receive gold made from 258 rings for 2013 Class Ring.
The members of the Class of 2013 received a precious gift on Monday; precious not just because it was made of gold, but rather because that gold came from the rings worn by 258 West Point graduates who came before them.
At the 12th Annual West Point Memorial Class Ring Melt, held at Pease & Curren, Inc. in Warwick, RI, 42 rings (along with shavings taken from a sample containing gold from all the past Ring Melt ceremonies) were melted in a 2,300 degree furnace to create a single gold bar. This bar was then passed from representatives at the refinery to Nadia King ’91, Director of Class Support at the West Point Association of Graduates. King then presented it to Cadet Timothy Berry, President of the Class of ’13. Finally, Berry handed the bar over to Jayne Roland of Balfour, the jewelry company charged with making the rings for the Class of 2013, which the cadets will receive in August of this year.
Upon receiving the gold bar, Berry expressed his gratitude on behalf his class to the donors and all in attendance: “The fact that you all gave something to our class that had so much institutional value that went back so long is humbling.”
The oldest ring from this year’s ceremony was worn by Lieutenant Colonel Layson Enslow Atkins, Class of 1915, who participated in the Punitive Expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Poncho Villia and served with the British as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The oldest ring donated over the past eleven years belonged to Colonel Percy Myers Kessler, Class of 1896, who fought in the Philippine Insurrection.
Reflecting on the event, Cadet Stephanie Wangeman ’13, Ring and Crest Chair, said, “To see these families who have really been influenced by their loved ones and to hear what the grads have done in their lives, it puts so much symbolism into the trust that the nation places on us and the morality and virtue to which we bind ourselves for the rest of our lives.”
The idea for the Memorial Class Ring Melt was conceived in 1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Ron Turner ’58, who felt that such a program would provide a tangible as well as symbolic link between the members of the Long Gray Line. “It ensures that the tradition of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ will remain with the Class of 2013 as they proudly wear their class rings,” as King read before shavings from the sample were added to the 42 rings already placed in the crucible.
At the end of the ceremony, Berry echoed these sentiments. “To me, this Ring Melt ceremony just goes back to show you that the ideas of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ don’t just happen by accident. It’s taught. It’s really been passed on from generation to generation.” Indeed, the Class of 2013 understands it received a precious gift; physically a bar of gold, but symbolically so much more.
Memorial Ring Program Archive by Class Year
Program Founder | 02 Inaugural Program | 2003 | 2004 | 2005
2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014