Legend of the Official Ohio University School Ring
Legend has it, that in 1854, a student named John Banks stepped foot onto Ohio University’s campus for the first time. He had grand dreams about college, graduation and one day becoming a successful individual. He knew that the only way he would succeed in life is if he had a college degree. John grew-up in southeastern Ohio and worked for his father’s jewelry shop to help pay for tuition. John’s family was very proud of him and wanted the best in life for him. He knew that he was not only going to Ohio University for himself, but also for his family.
Having spent his entire life around jewelry, he wanted his father to create a ring that would symbolize his goal of graduation. John asked him to help with this noble project.
His father was excited to so, and knew that the Sacred University Seal must be used in the design of the ring. His father worked for many weeks to create the special ring and when it was complete the Sacred Seal was the centerpiece of its design. What was most spectacular about ring was the incredible sunburst in the center of the seal. John was proud of his ring and that he had devised his own tradition. He vowed to wear the ring with the beams of the sunburst pointing outward, representing a guiding light on his path to graduation. Upon graduation, he would position the ring so that the sunbeams would illuminate his accomplishment of becoming an Ohio University graduate and would show his pride to the world.
Four years later, John completed his degree and he turned his ring. During his college career, other students asked about the ring and he told them about his tradition. Soon, his father was making rings for other Ohio University students and a network of ring-bearers was born. In 1859, the Ohio University Alumni Association was created and adopted John’s ring as the school’s official ring.
Today, The Official Ohio University School Ring serves as a symbol that unites alumni across the globe. Whether in a job interview or an airport, one alumnus can spot another by the ring and know that they have much in common. This is a tradition that builds opportunity from a network of Bobcats supporting Bobcats, and it will forever be a symbol of success.