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Ring Melt for Class of 2010

Categories: Ring Memorial Program, Grad News
Class Years:

The 9th Annual Ring Melt took place on Monday, 9 March, at the Pease and Curren Refinery in Warwick, Rhode Island. This event is part of the program designed to enable USMA graduates and their families to donate their or their loved ones’ Class Rings for inclusion in the gold of the Class Rings of today’s cadets.

This program is called the Class Ring Memorial Program and was the idea of LTC Ron Turner ’58. The Bicentennial Class of 2002 was the first Class to benefit from this idea, with the Class of 2010 being the latest. This year’s Ring Melt participants were CDT Arron Conley ’10, Class President; CDT Matt Archuleta ’10, Class Vice President; CDT Brandon Mulrine ’10, Chair of the Ring & Crest Committee; CDT Mark Armstrong ’10, grandson of LTC Armstrong ’46 and son of COL Armstrong ’81; LTC Tracy Bannister, Class Advisor; CPT Katrina Lewison, Class OIC; COL (Ret) Robert McClure ’76, WPAOG President and CEO; Mr. Joel Jebb ’82, Director of Class Support; and many family members and friends of the 23 Graduates whose Rings were donated to this year’s Melt. (Photo: Arron Conley (President), Mark Armstrong (grandson of LTC Armstrong ’46 and son of COL Armstrong ’81), Matt Archuleta (Vice-President), and Brandon Mulrine (Chair, Ring & Crest Committee) — Four happy cadets hold the gold ingot comprised of the gold from all 23 donated Rings.)

The Ring Melt ceremony began with an introduction by Keith Edwards ’85. Mr. Edwards is a former employee of Pease and Curren who now lives in Albuquerque but who makes significant contributions to each year’s Melt and returns to this ceremony every year. Mr. Edwards was followed by Mr. Jebb, who spoke to the group for a few minutes to explain the background of this program and note several interesting aspects of this year’s Melt. COL Robert McClure then addressed the audience, focusing his remarks on the way this program makes it possible for past, present, and future Graduates to “Grip Hands.” CDT’s Conley, Archuleta, Mulrine, and Armstrong then took turns reading aloud the biographies of each Ring owner as a representative—a family member, Classmate, or Graduate from the local area—placed that owner’s Ring into a crucible.

Class of 2010 Ring Memorial Donor Listing

1904 BG George R. Allin
1922 2LT William A. Burns, Jr.
1923 CPT John A. Austin
1924 COL Samuel H. Fisher
1930 COL Oscar B. Beasley
1931 COL Paul Burns
1933 LTG Richard M. Montgomery
1940 COL Samuel M. Patten
1941 COL Walter Mather
1945 Class of 1945
1946 LTC John Armstrong
1946 COL Willis D. Cronkhite
1947 COL Wallace F. Veaudry
1948 COL Glenn C. Wilhide, Jr.
1949 Mr. Donald McLean
1951 LTC Don C. Anker
1952 MG Graham Rider
1958 Donald J. McCullough
1959 Gerald W. Noga, M.D.
1961 Class of 1961
1970 COL James McHone
1971 LTC Dan Howard
1997 Class of 1997

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Ring Memorial Program

In 1999, LTC(R) Ron Turner ’58 submitted an article with the suggestion that “We, as graduates of West Point, should establish a Memorial Class Ring Program… whereby graduates may bequeath (or graduates’ descendants may donate) West Point class rings for the specific purpose of incorporating the gold into the class rings of future graduates.” Turner’s idea became a reality as 31 rings were melted at the Herff Jones company, and the Class of 2002 became the first to receive the gold from this historic undertaking in their rings. A small portion of each year’s gold ingot is preserved and added to the rings that are being melted for the following year’s Ring Melt. The gold shavings are known as the Legacy Gold because it contains gold from every ring that has been donated over the years.

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