For cadets, that series of events during which cadets receives their class rings, Ring Figure, is an important time, second only to graduation. The ring they receive that weekend identifies the bearers as proud members of their class and equally proud VMI alumni.
Established in early 2012 at the urging of alumni in the Class of 1963, the Memorial Ring Program enables alumni and their families to support cadets as they hit this milestone in their time in Barracks.
Through the program, alumni and families donate class rings to the VMI Foundation, which sends them to a firm that recovers precious metals. After the firm establishes the value of the ring’s gold and precious and semi-precious stones, it pays the Foundation that amount. The Foundation then deposits that money into the Memorial Ring Fund, dedicated solely to defraying the cost of cadets’ class rings, and distributes it in coordination with the Office of Cadet Life.
For more information on the Memorial Ring Program, please contact its administrator, Stewart Wilkinson '12, the VMI Foundation’s Assistant Director of Annual and Reunion Giving, at 1.800.444.1839, ext. 210.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will send it to Republic Metals Corporation in Miami, Florida. After the ring is melted down and any precious and semi-precious stones are recovered, Republic Metals will send us payment, minus a small service fee. The VMI Foundation will then put this payment into the Memorial Ring Fund that will help cadets with financial need to pay for their class rings.
Donors will receive a tax receipt stating the realized value of the donated ring. The amount also will be credited towards your giving history in support of VMI.
The refinery guarantees complete destruction of the ring.