College of Charleston Ring Ceremony Rings With Tradition

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The Ring Tradition Night (Feb. 28) and the Ring Ceremony (Feb. 29) are longstanding traditions at the College of Charleston.

college of charleston ring
CofC ring

Every spring semester, the College of Charleston holds an elegant ring ceremony, where the CofC ring is presented to each recipient by the president of the College. Tradition dictates that the night before the Ring Ceremony, the rings spend the night in the College’s original classroom, which is in the President’s House at 6 Glebe Street (circa 1770), so they may be instilled with the 254-year history of the institution.

This year, the Ring Tradition Night drop-in at the President’s House is from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, with the College of Charleston Ring Ceremony taking place in the Sottile Theatre at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Hosted by the Alumni Association, this auspicious ceremony will highlight the history of the CofC ring and the symbolism of its design. At the ceremony, President Andrew T. Hsu will present students’ rings to them, with a professional photographer recording the moment. Then, the president of the Alumni Association will explain how to wear the rings before and after graduation, and then all the ring recipients will put their rings on at the same time.

Dating back to 1843, the College of Charleston ring displays symbols and Latin phrases that hold profound meaning to students and alumni. The Latin phrases engraved on the ring’s perimeter translate to, “Wisdom Itself Is Liberty” and “She Cares For Her Temples, Customs and Rights.” The seated woman symbolizes the City of Charleston, and she is depicted granting a laurel wreath to a young man bearing a diploma.

Because ours is a school ring rather than a class ring, students may order their rings and take part in the Tradition Night and Ring Ceremony as early as their sophomore year. Each ring purchase includes a $100 donation to the Alumni Association to support programs and services for the College. This donation also makes the student a donor to the College, which is one of the traditions in which students are encouraged to experience before graduation.

Students who purchase a ring are invited to the ceremony, but also must register as a recipient and up to two guests to attend. All guests will need tickets to attend, as seating is limited.


Note for 2024 ring recipients attending the ceremony: Please arrive at Sottile Theatre by 4:15 pm to check in, receive your name card for the announcer and line up for the ceremony.

Note for ring recipients who do not participate in the Ring Ceremony: You will receive instructions for picking up your ring via email the week after the ceremony. Pickup will not be allowed prior to the Ring Ceremony.

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