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Cougar Tales: Director's Cut (November 2014) 

DO YOU WEAR THE COFC RING? 

I have a feeling when I say, “Official College of Charleston Ring” you will fall into one of three categories; 1) I have one 2) I want one 3) I didn’t know we had one. 

 The Official College of Charleston Class Ring (CofC Ring) was formerly adopted in 1995, but don’t let that modern-era date mislead you. The College of Charleston had had an official CofC Ring for many, many years prior to 1922.  However somewhere between 1922 and 1995 its design was lost to the passage of time.  During this “lost” period the College began offering a make-your-own-ring approach and graduates selected from a variety of styles, shapes and colored stone inserts.  

In 1994, the College received a gift from the estate of Pierrine Smith Byrd ’22 and her husband George Byrd ’21. Pierrine, by the way, was the College’s first female graduate. To our pleasant surprise, the gift included both Pierrine and George’s CofC Rings from 1922 and 1921, employing the missing original design!  With these samples in hand, your Alumni Association resolved to, once again, adopt an Official College of Charleston Ring to help promote and identify the College of Charleston brand.

The seal on the ring is the College of Charleston’s seal which was adopted by the College’s Board of Trustees in 1843.  This seal is modeled after the City of Charleston’s seal which dates to 1783. The College’s seal features Latin phrases meaning, “Wisdom Itself Is Liberty” and “She watches over her buildings, her customs and her laws.” In the College’s seal, the seated woman is described as a personification of Charleston herself. She is shown presenting a laurel wreath to a young man holding a diploma in front of a classroom building. 

In three weeks, on December 2nd, the class of 2015 will receive their CofC Rings at the annual Ring Ceremony in Sottile Theater. Receiving the CofC Ring will visually represent the completion of a rigorous academic regimen and a common bond with fellow alumni.

So let’s review the three categories I listed earlier:

  • For all of you who said, “I have one”, think about what it means to you and help us spread the word about its symbolism.
  • For all of you who said, “I want one”, it’s not too late. You can buy one now.
  • For all of you who said, “I didn’t know we had one”, I hope this history inspires you to consider joining the alumni that wear the CofC Ring. 

No matter what category you fall into, keep your eye out for the CofC Ring. It is a great way to spot a fellow alumnus and to improve your networking outcomes.

Jack Huguley '72 
Director of Alumni Relations
College of Charleston
huguleyj@cofc.edu