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The College of Charleston Ring

Dating back to 1843, the College of Charleston ring displays symbols and Latin phrases that hold profound meaning to students and alumni. Rings are presented to each recipient by the College President at the elegant Ring Ceremony held each year during spring semester. Tradition holds that the night before each Ring Ceremony, the rings spend the night in the College’s original classroom in the President’s House at 6 Glebe Street so they may be instilled with the nearly 250-year history of the College. Because ours is a school ring rather than a class ring, students may order their rings and take part in the traditions and Ring Ceremony as early as sophomore year.

Important Dates 

November 13-14, 2018, 10 am-4 pm
Ring Day for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Alumni Center at Towell Library
*Last chance to order in time for the 2019 Ring Ceremony!

February 14, 2019, 4-5:30 pm
CofC Ring Tradition
President's House, 6 Glebe Street

February 15, 2019, 6-7 pm
CofC Ring Ceremony
Memminger Auditorium

About the ring

The design for our ring is based on the original College of Charleston ring design, which was thought to be lost for many decades. In 1995, the Alumni Association was considering new ring designs when it received a bequest from the estate of two alumni. Inside the package were two gold rings, identical except one was sized for a woman’s hand.

The woman’s ring belonged to the very first female graduate of the College of Charleston, Pierrine Smith ‘22. When she graduated, there was no women’s ring, so her fiancé, George Byrd ’21, had a miniature of his ring made for her. They were happily married for many years and left their rings to their alma mater. This charming story inspired the Alumni Association to adopt the original College of Charleston ring design for both men and women.

The signet-style ring features the seal of the College of Charleston, derived from the City of Charleston’s seal, which was adopted in 1783. It features the Latin phrases Sapientia Ipsa Libertas (Wisdom Itself Is Liberty) and Ædes Mores Juraque Curat (She Cares for Her Temples, Customs and Rights). The seated woman holding the scepter is a personification of Charleston and evokes an image of the city deriving its livelihood from the sea and prepared to defend itself. She is shown presenting a laurel wreath to a young man holding a diploma in front of a classroom building. The date 1770 refers to the year of the College’s founding.

Ordering your ring or pendant necklace

Rings are available in yellow or white gold, silver, or celestrium in a variety of finishes. Your initials, degree, class year, or sorority or fraternity may be engraved inside. A pendant necklace is also available. Payment plans are available. A portion of your ring purchase supports the programs and scholarships of the College of Charleston’s Alumni Association. If you are unable to participate in the Ring Days posted at the top of this page, please visit https://www.balfour.com/cofc or call 1-800-225-3687 and a Balfour representative will be happy to assist you.

CofC Pendant

 

The Ring Ceremony

Photo
A CofC Tradition