Wear it with pride. As a constant reminder of your achievements and the tradition of our alma mater, we are proud to offer you the Official Ring of The Ohio State University.
Our ring evokes special memories of the occasions and traditions of Ohio State–the Orton Hall chimes ringing out the hours daily, a stroll through the Oval on a clear spring day, and the Marching Band performing Script Ohio to a packed Ohio Stadium crowd. The ring is a symbolic, continuous link with classmates, friends, and generations of alumni.
All juniors, seniors, graduate and professional students, and Alumni are able to show the world their Ohio State pride by purchasing their very own class ring. The ring features a prominent Block O and can be personalized with an inscription on the inner band. Furthermore, the copyrighted design cannot be changed, so your ring will never be out of date.
History of the ring
The story of the Official Ring of The Ohio State University has truly just begun. Years from now, when Buckeyes start identifying each other simply from the hardware on their fingers, then the story will be complete. A new tradition will be instilled at the core of Ohio State.
Early in 2001, administrators from both the University and the Alumni Association began discussing the possibilities of having an official school ring. While many alumni had school rings, few were alike. And you didn’t have to attend Ohio State to get one.
Ohio State, with all its strong traditions, didn’t have one built around an official ring. Meanwhile, schools like Texas A&M, Duke and Notre Dame have grand traditions built around a small piece of jewelry. Michigan and Indiana, among others, have also moved in this direction in the recent past. At places where there are official rings, as many as three-fourths of eligible students buy and wear one. At Ohio State, not one in ten students do. And at places where school rings thrived, the rings have become identifiers between graduates and a link between students and alumni.
“In Texas, these rings are a huge deal,” said Courtney Hilliard, an Ohio State sophomore from Houston who was on Ohio State’s ring selection committee. “I know what an Aggie ring looks like from a mile away. Everyone that goes to Texas A&M wants one.”
The decision was made to move ahead with an official ring program. Alumni, faculty, staff and students like Hilliard were gathered to help with the design. “It was very important to have students involved,” said Rick VamBrimmer, Ohio State’s Director of Trademark and Licensing Services. “I don’t think you can do any project like this without hearing the student voice. And we listened closely to it.” After interviewing major suppliers and reviewing their proposals, Milestone Traditions (now Balfour), was chosen to make the ring. The national ring manufacturer has been part of numerous successful official ring launches across the nation. The design was chosen over a period of several months, with the selection committee narrowing their choice to a streamlined, timeless design. “I like these rings because they are simple and make a bold statement,” Hilliard said. “When you look at them, they jump out.”
A student must achieve junior status before being eligible to buy one. And when the ring was offered to alumni, that rule still applied. The only way you can qualify to purchase the ring is to meet those strict academic standards.
The first Ring Ceremony, a hallmark of the young tradition, was held at Ohio State in 2002. At the yearly ceremony, rings are presented to those students and graduates who elected to purchase a ring.
“The Ohio State ring symbolizes the strong and permanent link between the university and our graduates,” former Ohio State president William E. Kirwan said. “It reminds us of Ohio State’s commitment to provide students with an education that will enrich their lives forever, and it represents our graduates’ special passion for their alma mater.”
Ohio State once had an official school ring program. In the 1920s, an official graduates’ ring was designed by students and faculty and approved by the Student Council. No one knows when that program died.
In past decades, you could order an Ohio State ring from countless jewelry stores. Hundreds of styles, shapes and colors were available. “Because there were so many styles and because you could buy a ring, the tradition suffered,” Alumni Association President/CEO Archie Griffin said. “Now, it will signify even more to have an Ohio State ring on your finger.”