Corps and civilian juniors show excitement for next week’s class ring ceremony

Class rings are one of the most unifying aspects of a student’s college career. Not only are they a glorious accomplishment, but a symbol of the student body’s persistence, dedication, and commitment to their studies and the institution.  

 For Norwich University, however, these rings resonate much deeper with both factions of students; the Corps of Cadets and the Civilian Students. 

 The Corps of Cadets, founded in 1819, has created hundreds of meaningful traditions for its Cadets to pursue in their four years of participation. The largest, by far, is the Junior Ring.  

 According to, the sought-after ring is presented to “third-year Corps of Cadets members” at the end of the year. The Corps of Cadets “ring tradition began in the spring of 1923 when the senior class adopted a class ring for each member who would graduate in June. In time, ring design and presentation shifted to the junior year; a policy to standardize the ring’s design emerged in the mid-1960s.” 

 The Corps ring has specific guidelines outlining its design. One side, “dubbed the ‘Norwich side’ or the ‘1819 side,’” remains consistent every year embellished with Cavalry Sabers, a NUCC Scroll, the Norwich Shield, an Eagle, an Honor Scroll, and Norwich’s famous motto “I Will Try.” The opposite is designed and voted on by the class year receiving the ring.  

 The side, created by the students, requires strenuous work by those selected to be a member of the Ring Committee. Wyatt Beatini, a civil engineering junior, a Cadet Commander Sergeant Major in the Corps, and the Vice Chair of Operations for the Ring Committee, said, “For our 100th anniversary of the Corps ring, it’s very important to represent our experiences accurately for our class. You want to pick out different items, experiences, and memories to truly represent us. Our year was the first year of having covid, so it was something that we had to overcome in a sense and something we wanted to include.”  

 Every year in the Spring, Corps of Cadets Juniors meet for a dinner ceremony in which the ring is presented. This event is exclusive to those in the Corps.  

 On the flip side, the Civilian ring, although a newer tradition, remains consistent in rallying those students attending Norwich who do not participate in the Corps. “In 1990, a ring tradition was started for the civilian population of Norwich University,” and similar to the Corps, it is presented the same night and time in a separate civilian-only dinner and ceremony. The hope for this ring was that it will “bond the civilian students with the Institution and that the entire student body can carry on the Norwich Ring tradition.” 

The Civilian ring has two sides as well. One side is the ‘Norwich side’ or the ‘1819 side’, similar to the Corps of Cadets, but only adorning an Eagle, a Scroll, and the Norwich Shield. The other side can be the student’s choosing of that year’s class side, which is custom designed by the student committee for their year, or the traditional class side, which has Norwich’s founder Alden Partridge, Paine Mountain, the motto, “I Will Try,” and several notable buildings on campus. For civilians, the ‘Norwich side’ or ‘1819 side’ can also be replaced with a crest that represents their major/degree. 

 Even though the Civilian ring has only been implemented for 33 years, the impact of cohesiveness still widely exists. Crystal Drown, once a civilian student and now an alumnus working as the Assistant Director of Student Activities, said giving the ring to each student and seeing their excited expression “is the part I truly love, and I still get emotional sometimes,” and that the Civilian dinners are similar and follow suit to the Corps of Cadets because, “I want them to realize cohesion and togetherness, and that when you graduate and walk across that stage, you are all just one class no longer separated by lifestyles.” 

 Juniors campus-wide are exhilarated to receive their rings next Wednesday, March 29th, 2023, at 6 pm and, consequently, will have taken part in the largest tradition of Norwich history.