A class ring (also known as a graduation, graduate, senior, or grad ring) is a ring worn by students and alumni in the United States and Canada to commemorate their graduation, generally for a high school, college, or university.
How to wear
The Complete Book of Etiquette by Amy Vanderbilt indicates the following protocol for wearing of a class ring: For as long as the wearer is in school, the insignia should face the wearer to remind him/her of the goal of graduation. Upon graduation, the class ring gains the status of a "badge of honor" similar to a diploma, with the effect that graduation entitles the wearer to display the insignia facing outward so that it faces other viewers. An additional justification for this practice is the rationale that the ring also symbolizes the graduate him/herself: During the wearer's time in school, s/he focuses on self-development and goals specific to the insular academic environment; upon graduation, the wearer enters the wider world and puts what s/he has learned to work in shaping it.
A notable exception to this protocol is the custom followed by older graduating classes of the United States Military Academy at West Point: Until recent decades, Academy graduates wore their rings on the left hand in observance of the ancient belief, which also underlay the Anglo-American and Jewish custom of wearing wedding bands on the left hand, that a vein connects the left ring finger to the heart. Prior to graduation, these classes wore the USMA Class Ring with the Class Crest closest to the heart, signifying a given cadet's bond to his class within the Academy. Following graduation, members of these classes wore (and, for surviving members, still wear) the ring with the Academy Crest closest to the heart, signifying their bond with the Academy as a whole.
- United States Military Academy class ring
- Doctoral ring
- MIT class ring
- NTH Ring
- Traditions of Texas A&M University