Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Association
Winter 2010
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A gem of a tradition: Celebrating 100 years of the Virginia Tech ring

The Class of 2011 ring collection honors Janet and Charles Steger (above).
The Class of 2011 ring collection, the tradition's 100th anniversary, honors
Janet and Charles Steger (above).

In the fall of 2009, the Class of 2011 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Virginia Tech ring tradition by premiering the 100th collection of rings in the university's history. Since 1911, each Virginia Tech class has designed a ring distinctive and unique to the class. Today, Virginia Tech is one of only a few colleges and universities in the nation that designs a new and distinctive ring collection each year.

The redesign renews the tradition each year for a new group of Hokies. Alumni are proud of the elements that appear on each ring as they reflect on their time and experiences at Virginia Tech and preserve traditions.

Though unique each year, the design always utilizes treasured symbols of the university. The earliest rings included the American eagle, crossed sabers, cannon, and stars that represent the military heritage of the university's early years. As the agricultural and mechanical college evolved into a major university, the ring designs changed to reflect this transition.

Additions to the designs have included campus landmarks, such as Burruss Hall (1940), the War Memorial Pylons (1958), HokieBird (1992), Torgersen Hall bridge (2002), and the April 16 memorial (2010). As a tribute to the ring's 100th anniversary, the Class of 2011 was the first class to offer genuine Hokie Stone as a gem choice for the traditional ring.

Virginia Tech 2011 class ring
Since 1991, each class ring collection honors a special person or couple selected by the class. The ring collection is named for the honoree(s), who are recognized at both Ring Premiere and Ring Dance, becoming part of a select few to have such a legacy. For this special 100th anniversary, the Class of 2011 honored Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger '69 and his wife, Janet Steger '70. Premiere was held Oct. 13, 2009, in a packed Burruss Hall Auditorium.

The role of class sponsors has also been an important tradition with the ring program. At Premiere, the Class of 2011 recognized Jack Davis '74, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and Linda Davis '73, nutrition educator at Schiffert Health Center, as their class sponsors.

For more information on Virginia Tech rings and to view all collections since 1911, visit For those wishing to order a ring or to have one repaired or resized, write the Virginia Tech Alumni Association at the Holtzman Alumni Center, Blacksburg, VA 24061, or e-mail The Alumni Association staff will identify the ring year manufacturer and write the manufacturer on behalf of the alumnus or alumna to confirm authorization to purchase a Virginia Tech ring.

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