The concept of the class ring was born at West Point. The Class of 1835 ordered the first rings, and though the class of 1836 chose not to follow suit, 1837 revived the practice and the line has remained unbroken ever since. In 1869, a committee was established to formalize the rings and now, after several stages of evolution, each bears the West Point crest on one side and the unique class crest and motto on the other. . . .
As with many aspects of life at West Point, however, we are not the first, nor will we be the last. In the belly of the West Point library is the collection of old class rings, showcasing almost every class since 1837. They include the rings of Gens. Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, as well as those of recent graduates who wore theirs far too briefly. . . .