Iowa State University nameplate

Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
February 14, 2003

The tradition is back: a university ring for Iowa Staters

Iowa State Ring
by Linda Charles
When Scott Dahl talks about "the ring," he doesn't have hobbits and a war of mythic proportions in mind. Rather, he is referring to an official Iowa State University ring, something that has not been offered for about 40 years.

As director of marking and membership with the Iowa State Alumni Association, Dahl has been leading a project to establish a university ring. Iowa State once had an official "class ring," but that custom faded sometime in the '70s when students were allowed to choose their rings from hundreds of styles, Dahl said.

Work on the university ring project began in 1998, when both the Alumni Association and the University Book Store began exploring options for one official university ring. The two joined forces and eventually involved a committee of students, university administrators, faculty, staff and alumni in the effort.

The ring was unveiled Feb. 13.

"Members of the university family will wear this ring to show their pride, their allegiance, their support and their connectedness to their alma mater," said President Gregory Geoffroy.

Unlike traditional class rings, the university ring will not feature the date of graduation on its face.

"The idea," Dahl said, "is for students to feel they are a part of a larger group, as opposed to a graduating class."

Images on the ring focus on traditions and student experiences.

"We wanted it to be simple, but to tell a story, too," Dahl said.

The signet-style ring features images of the campanile surrounded by trees, Beardshear and Curtiss halls, the university swans and a Cyclones banner. Phrases on the ring include "Iowa State University of Science and Technology," "Science with Practice," and "1858" (the date the university was chartered). Inside the band are the words "True and Valiant," from the alma mater song The Bells of Iowa State. The inside of the band also can be engraved with initials, degrees or dates.

The rings will be offered in yellow or white gold (10 to 18 karats), with an optional diamond or ruby. Beginning costs will be $295 for a woman's and $395 for a man's 10 karat ring.

"The university ring will cost less than the class rings students had to choose among," Dahl said. "That was one of our goals -- to make the ring more affordable for students."

The ring will be offered through Milestone Traditions, an Austin, Texas, firm. Art Carved has been providing class rings for the university. Its parent company recently purchased Milestone Traditions.

Students will be eligible to purchase rings if they have at least 60 Iowa State credits (30 ISU credits for transfer or graduate students). Alumni also may purchase rings.

Students who place orders March 3-7 will be presented their rings personally by Geoffroy during an April 21 ring ceremony.

Following the March sale dates, the ring will be available from the University Book Store and the alumni association. Alumni will receive information about the ring this summer, Dahl said.

Current students who already have purchased class rings will be able to opt to trade them in for official university rings at no costs; alumni will pay a fee (about $75) to trade in their class rings, Dahl said.

"It has been a long, drawn-out process to get an official university ring, but we hope it goes over well," Dahl said. "The feedback we have received from students and staff so far has been wonderful."

... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2003, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.