WPAOG Hosts 24th Annual Class Ring Memorial Program

Categories: Ring Memorial Program, Cadet News, Grad News
Class Years:

The West Point Association of Graduates’ Class Ring Memorial Program, more commonly known as “the Ring Melt,” was held in Eisenhower Hall on Friday, January 19, 2024. This year’s event boasted the highest number of ring donors in the program’s history, with family members and guests attending and many more watching the event through WPAOG’s livestream

Eighty-eight West Point rings, with the oldest being from the Class of 1913 and the newest being from the Class of 2005, were placed into a stone crucible, then melted down to form a gold ingot bar. The bar was presented over from Class of 2025 Class President Cadet Katherine LaReau, to WPAOG President & CEO COL (R) Mark Bieger ’91. He presented the bar to a representative of the Herff Jones Ring Company so that the gold it contains can be mixed with new gold to form the class rings for the Class of 2025.

Since the inaugural Ring Melt ceremony 24 years ago, which began with the Bicentennial Class of 2002, 895 West Point class rings have been generously donated to be included in the “Legacy Gold.” After each melt, a small amount of gold, the “Legacy Gold,” has been preserved to be added to each subsequent year’s Ring Melt. The Class of 2025 will be receiving class rings this August that contain gold from all the donated rings dating back to 1896.

In 2022, the Class of 1966 made a generous gift ensuring that the Class Ring Memorial Program will continue in perpetuity for future generations of the Long Gray Line. This significant legacy endowment, created in Memory of the Fallen Brothers of the Class of 1966, serves to honor their service, sacrifice and valor.

When Ron Turner ’58 proposed the idea of a “Ring Memorial Program” in the May/June 1999 edition of ASSEMBLY magazine, he wrote, “Hopefully, this program will make West Point class rings of the future even more meaningful than those of the past.” Twenty-four years later, his vision is a reality, and the members of the Class of 2025 will don their “bold mold of [melted] gold” courtesy of WPAOG’s Class Ring Memorial Program.

WPAOG Class Ring Memorial Program- Rebecca RoseRps-006

Class of 2025 Ring Memorial Donor Listing

1913 MG Douglass T. Greene USA, Retired
1923 BG Glen C. Jamison USAF, Retired
1924 COL Harold J. Keeley USA, Retired
1927 MG Philip D. Ginder USA, Retired
1940 COL Francis J. Crown USA, Retired
1941 BG Lawrence V. Greene USA, Retired
1941 BG Michael J. L. Greene USA, Retired
1942 COL Edgar B. Colladay USA, Retired
1945 Col William B. Craig USAF, Retired
1945 COL Donald E. Fowler USA, Retired
1945 COL William R. Guthrie USA, Retired
1945 Mr. Dwight A. Riley Jr.
1946 COL James H. W. Inskeep USA, Retired
1946 COL Theodore J. Lepski USA, Retired
1946 LTC Malcolm E. MacDonald USA, Retired
1946 COL Joseph P. Pepe USA, Retired
1947 MG John C. Faith USA, Retired
1947 BG Tom J. Perkins USA
1948 Mr. George M. Edwards Jr.
1949 Col Lewis M. Jamison USAF, Retired
1949 LTC Stephens W. Nunnally USA, Retired
1950 Col Frank Borman USAF, Retired
1950 1LT Thomas P. Greene USA
1950 COL Richard G. Hoffman USA, Retired
1950 COL David S. Meredith III USA, Retired
1951 Mr. James A. Keeley
1951 LTC Robert W. Milburn USA, Retired
1951 Lt Col Thomas H. Williams USAFR, Retired
1952 COL Robert S. Holmes USA, Retired
1952 COL Herbert D. Vogel Jr. USA, Retired
1953 LTC Samuel H. Fisher Jr. USA, Retired
1954 Col Harry W. Emrick USAF, Retired
1954 Dr. Robert E. Fromm
1954 Mr. Paul R. Jenkins Jr.
1954 COL Jack R. Logan USA, Retired
1954 Mr. Andrew J. Maloney Jr.
1954 COL Edwin E. Passmore USA, Retired
1955 Mr. Kenneth L. Donaldson
1955 LTC Clifford J. Fralen USA, Retired
1955 Lt Col James E. Seay USAF, Retired
1956 Col Dennis L. Butler USAF, Retired
1956 Mr. Robert D. Randall
1957 Mr. Thomas W. Keeley
1957 COL William B. Seely USA, Retired

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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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