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Ring Melt for Class of 2011

Categories: Ring Memorial Program, Grad News
Class Years:

1 Mar 2010–the 10th Annual Ring Melt occurred at the Pease & Curren Refinery in Warwick, RI. Beginning with the Bicentennial Class of 2002, every West Point Class for the past ten years has been able to “Grip Hands” with those Graduates from the past whose donated Class Rings were included in that year’s Ring Melt. Additionally, because gold from every year’s Melt is added to the gold from the following year’s Melt, the Rings from every Class since 2002 have included a portion of all of the Rings donated to this great program at that time. From its inception based on an idea from LTC Ron Turner ’58, this program has contributed a total of 185 Class Rings to the Rings of Graduates of the past ten years.

USMA Class of 2011 Ring Melt Donor COL Richard E. Bauchspies

The 10th Annual Ring Melt contributed twenty Rings to the Class Ring Memorial program, and the owners of those Rings ranged from a member of the Class of 1908 to a 1984 Graduate. Within this batch of Rings was the Ring of COL Richard E. Bauchspies ’58, grandfather of Cadet Brandon Lawrence, USMA 2011, who was able to participate in this year’s Ring Melt. Additionally, the Ring of LTC John W. Hynd ’60 was dropped into the crucible by his roommate of four years, Mr. Donald Prosser ’60. Also in attendance this year was COL William T. Kirkpatrick ’61, who donated the Ring of his father, COL Elmer E. Kirkpatrick, Jr. ‘29; Mrs. Marie Foss, wife of COL Peter J. Foss ’51, who had attended several of the earlier Ring Melts; and COL Gerald Monson ’50, a decorated pilot who came from Nebraska to make his Ring part of this program.

Traveling from West Point for this year’s Ring Melt were members of the Class of 2011, whose Rings will contain the gold from this year’s Melt: CDT Joe Simon, Class President; and CDT Derek George, Class Treasurer. Joining them were the aforementioned CDT Brandon Lawrence; LTC Stephen Michael ’88, Class Advisor; MAJ Ed Lynch, Class OIC; Mr. Pat Harris ’79, Director of Business Operations; Ms. Marie Smith, Assistant Director of Class & Annual Giving; Mr. Vince McDermott ’85, Director of Alumni Affairs; and Mr. Joel Jebb ’82, Director of Class Support. Unable to join this group but certainly present in the minds of those in attendance was Mr. Tony Ferraiuolo (Honorary ’61), former Director of Class Support and the individual responsible for turning LTC Turner’s idea into reality.

Cadets at USMA Class of 2011 Ring Melt

Biographies of all twenty owners of the Rings donated to this year’s Ring Melt will soon be available on the WPAOG website. The Corps of Cadets and the WPAOG thank these Graduates for their outstanding service to the nation and their families for donating their Rings to the Ring Memorial Program. Next year marks the beginning of the second decade of this program, and the prospects for the next ten years are as bright as the Rings that will soon adorn the hands of the members of the Class of 2011.

Programs such as the annual Ring Melt are funded by the WPAOG and keep the current and future members of the Long Gray Line connected. Please consider giving a gift to the Long Gray Line Fund to keep these types of cadet and graduate activities strong.

Class of 2011 Ring Memorial Donor Listing

1929 COL Elmer E. Kirkpatrick, Jr.
1935 MG John H. Caughey
1939 COL George P. Winton
1940 COL William J. Bennett
1940 BG Paul D. Phillips
1943Jun BG James R. Pugh, Jr. (USAF)
1946 Mr. William H. Jenkins
1949 Mr. John P. Hawn
1950 COL Gerald Monson (USAF)
1951 COL Peter J. Foss
1952 LTC Marsden P. Earle, Jr.
1952 Mr. John J. Lentz
1955 COL Bud T. Hall
1958 COL Richard E. Bauchspies
1960 LTC John W. Hynd
1961 LTC Kenneth L. Hruby
1961 Mr. Brian G. Schultz
1977 MAJ David L. Bolte
1984 Mr. Scott Edwards
1984 CPT Karl D. Landsberg

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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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