Ring ceremony rings

WPI Ring Ceremony: Packed with Tradition and Emotion

Hosted by the Alumni Association, the WPI Ring Ceremony brings alumni back to campus for an especially meaningful and moving alumni engagement event. More than 200 guests enjoy an elegant reception in Alden Memorial and hear a brief address from the Alumni Association president. Ring recipients also have the opportunity to visit with parents, guests, alumni, and key members of the WPI Student Affairs Office.

“The Alumni Association is focused on helping our graduates and students stay connected to the WPI community as they move on in their professional careers. The class ring tradition is a nice reminder of this milestone in their lives and the shared experiences and unity of their graduating class,” says Alumni Association President Paula Delaney ’75.

My WPI ring makes me proud to show the world that I am a WPI graduate.

Shannon Ring ’19

During the ceremony, recipients are summoned individually to the podium. Once the rings have been announced and presented, the students open their ring boxes in unison, creating a shared experience of joy and pride among all the event attendees. Tradition has it that the ring is worn with the WPI seal facing inward, but once the student graduates, the ring is turned around to symbolize that the graduate is now ready to face the world.

“I absolutely loved the WPI Ring Ceremony. And although it did feel a little bit surreal to think I was going to be a WPI alumna,” says Jennifer Payano ’19. “I felt proud of myself for getting through my studies.” The WPI Ring Ceremony itself, however, begins long before the annual March event date. The rings complete a special campus journey meant to represent the student experience at WPI. Based on tradition, the rings enjoy an overnight stay in both Boynton Hall and Washburn Shops to honor the university’s founding tenets of theory and practice. They then make two crossings of Earle Bridge; one to symbolize the welcome of first-year students to campus and the second to symbolize the final Earle Bridge crossing WPI seniors make during Commencement.

The stunning custom-crafted ring was designed by the Alumni Association in honor of the university’s distinguished history and serves as a lifelong connection to every graduate’s experience at WPI.

Shannon Ring ’19 says the WPI Ring Ceremony was meaningful to her. “My older sister, who is also a WPI graduate, purchased a ring when she graduated, as did several other alumni whom I met throughout my time in the Student Alumni Society. It was also meaningful that the WPI Alumni Association president presented the ring to me, formally welcoming me into the WPI alumni family,” she says. “My WPI ring makes me proud to show the world that I am a WPI graduate.”

The WPI Ring Ceremony has been on hiatus during the pandemic, and we look forward to its return.

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