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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Graduating seniors ready for caps, gowns and class rings

Balfour and the Alumni Association create class ring options. (JISOO HWANG/ THE STATESMAN)
Balfour and the Alumni Association create class ring options. (JISOO HWANG/ THE STATESMAN)

Graduation is almost here, and Stony Brook University seniors are preparing to don the signature red cap and gown and receive their diplomas. Seniors may also choose to purchase another piece of memorabilia—the class ring.

It is a symbol that commemorates a student’s achievements and graduation from the institution, according to a website called, which provides information on class rings and where to purchase them.

The Official Ring Collection of Stony Brook University, according to a brochure by the Alumni Association, “is a timeless, tangible symbol of the bond between all SBU graduates and the institution that contributed so much to shaping their future successes.”

These rings have a classic signet style that displays the image of the Stony Brook Seawolf and a student’s year of graduation on one side and the degree he or she is receiving on the other.

Ring styles also differ for men and women. Men’s rings are traditionally larger than women’s and are issued in medium and large sizes. Women’s rings simply come in a small size.

But Balfour, the class ring company the university has chosen to provide the rings, has supplied the future graduates with choices.

Students can choose among which metal they prefer – yellow or white gold in 10, 14, or 18 karats; silver; or celestrium; a finish—antique or natural; a band engraving; and a stone jewel embellishment.

But what really distinguishes one class ring from another is the design. Another option Balfour is providing students with is the choice between the traditional and original signet design.

Seniors who choose the traditional design will have the Stony Brook shield on their ring as opposed to the original signet design, which features the Stony Brook three stars and five rays design.

For sociology major Limei Zhu, a class ring is a symbol of her determination to finish college. Zhu is proud to have been a Seawolf for four years and her ring will be proof of that.

“I want to be able to have a memory of Stony Brook,” she said. “It will be a way for me to present to others about I’ve graduated from there.”

But for some graduating seniors, a class ring is not the sole reminder of their time at Stony Brook. Psychology major Ivy Peckman, for example, feels that in addition to the ring’s cost being a deterrent, it is not a necessity.

“There are other graduation things I prioritize more,” she said, “like my cap and gown and grad photos.”

Although some would consider a class ring to be a memorable artifact to have, the ring’s importance depends on the person.

For example, the class ring reminds Zhu of  four years of  hard work. Peckman has her high school class ring.

“It’s mostly just a token to remember my high school years,” she said, “and it’s not as important as, say pictures I took, or something like that.”

But whether or not a graduating senior decides to buy a class ring, it is the memories of their time as a Seawolf at Stony Brook University that truly counts.

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