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Washington University Ring

Class Rings
Traditions are priceless. So are the friendships you'll develop at Washington University. The Alumni Association invites students and alumni to wear the Washington University Ring in honor of their shared experiences and achievements. For years to come, your ring will be a cherished symbol of a lasting connection to one of the finest academic universities in the world.

History of the Washington University Ring

The design of the Washington University Ring is based on the design of the university’s official seal.  The seal was originally developed in 1896 by Holmes Smith, Professor of Drawing and History of Art at the University and adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1897.  Professor Smith’s design included elements which symbolize both the origins of the university’s name and the university’s location in St. Louis.
The shape of the crest is derived from the coat of arms of President George Washington.  Washington University in St. Louis was chartered on February 22, 1853 with the name of “Eliot Seminary”.  However, the association of our founding with Washington’s birthday, combined with an administration for Washington’s example of service to the nation, led the founders of the university to re-name the institution, “Washington University” in 1857.  The words “in St. Louis” were added to the university’s name by trustee action in the 1970’s. 
The three stars and two bars have a double meaning.  They are part of the Washington coat of arms; in addition, they represent the stars and stripes of the American flag.  The open book represents a university.  The three fleurs-de-lis at the bottom of the crest symbolize King Louis IX of France, after whom the city of St. Louis is named.

Order your ring by February 28, 2018 to receive a special invitation to the Annual Ring Ceremony on Wednesday, April 28 at 5 p.m.  


Annual Ring Ceremony

The Annual Ring Ceremony is a special celebration where students receive their official Washington University Ring and special keepsake box. Students and their special guests will enjoy a reception hosted by Jostens, the Alumni Association, and Campus Bookstore. Invitations to the ring ceremony will be sent out in the spring.

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