Oct. 20 marks a momentous day for the Meredith College Class of 2025 who are participating in Ring Dinner. It is the evening in which Meredith juniors with a minimum of 60 credits celebrate their new class rings, the Onyx. In the week leading up to Ring Dinner, juniors celebrate Ring Week, a celebration where juniors wear themed rings. Some juniors took the time to share their thoughts on the evening and broader tradition.
Jordan Harrell, ‘25, stated that she is “super excited about Ring Dinner” and that she has “looked forward to Ring Dinner since [she] was a freshman.” Harrell also described her joy at seeing “people’s excitement and getting to wear the fun rings for Ring Week”.
Rachel Heavlin, ‘25, shared similar feelings. Despite “starting [her] Ring Week by receiving the wrong-sized ring, [she] thought the rest of the week would be ruined.” Heavlin found that Ring Week “is all about supporting each other” and that it is a representation of the accomplishments the juniors have achieved up until this point.
SarahElla Trustman, ‘25, and Women In New Goal Settings (WINGS) Vice President notes that it is “extraordinary to be included in such a memorable tradition” and is excited about the WINGS involvement this year. Trustman shared that there “are at least seven of [the WINGS students] going to Ring Dinner.”
Heavlin called her perspective on being a Meredith student “changed” as she observed “[her] fellow classmates around campus wearing their Ring Week rings. It's been cool seeing how excited everyone got when they saw someone with the themed ring on.” Harrell asserted that “celebrating Ring Week brings [the] juniors closer together as a class.” Ellie Osborne, ‘25, described that she felt “grateful” to be a Meredith student and described the sense of community it created.
The class ring potentially has a history dating back to the early 1900s, with the date of the first occurrence of the ring being unknown. The archival piece notes that “the oldest ring in the College Archives features a gold band with the letters 'MC’ and ‘1916 ’” However, Ring Dinner didn’t begin until a later date when the Class of 1992 started the tradition. According to “ The Meredith Class Ring” archival piece, Ring Week didn’t begin until 1997. Since then, Ring Week has become another tradition on campus with a greater meaning to many. Harrell stated, “The Onyx symbolizes so much strength from Meredith students and graduates.” The excitement of Ring Week also found Heavlin reflecting on how “there is so much build-up to receiving [the O]nyx.” Heavlin described the emotions surrounding the Ring Week experience, highlighting, “Knowing that all of [the juniors] have worked so hard to make it to Ring Week is encouraging for not only [herself] but also for [the Class of 2025’s] littles.” Harrell wrote that she is “excited to be able to represent that after this week.”
Ring Week and Ring Dinner mark a significant moment for juniors as their time at Meredith slowly comes to a close. As students transition into alumnae in the upcoming years, the Onyx serves as a reminder of their time at Meredith, honoring those who came before, and the community juniors have found. This week continues to be impactful for the new classes of Meredith juniors ready to place their onyx outward, facing the world when they graduate.
By Kat Whetstone, Contributing Writer
Photo courtesy of Jordan Harrell