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The Official College of Charleston Ring

RingDating back to 1843, the College of Charleston ring displays symbols and Latin phrases that hold profound meaning to students and alumni. Rings are presented to each recipient by the College President at the elegant Ring Ceremony held each year during spring semester. Tradition dictates that the night before each Ring Ceremony, the rings spend the night in the College’s original classroom in the President’s House at 6 Glebe Street (circa 1770) so they may be instilled with the 250-year history of the institution. Because ours is a school ring rather than a class ring, students may order their rings and take part in the traditions and Ring Ceremony as early as sophomore year.

Students wear the ring so the seal is upside down when their hands are at their sides. At Commencement, College of Charleston students are called upon to “turn the ring,” as students at other institutions are called upon to “turn the tassel,” so the seal is facing right side up as they go out into the world.

Important Dates 

Purchase your official CofC ring for the Ring Ceremony and Commencement during CofC Ring Days:

September 16-17 and October 14-15, 2020
From 10 am – 4 pm each day
Alumni Welcome Center at Towell Library in Cistern Yard

Or place your order by visiting or calling 1-800-225-3687.

After you have purchased your ring, you will be invited to participate in the events that unfold the tradition of the College of Charleston ring. You will receive your ring at the Ring Ceremony. To register yourself and your guests for the events below, please use this link.

Ring Tradition Night
Spring 2021 - Dates TBD
President's House - 6 Glebe Street

Ring Ceremony
Spring 2021 - Dates TBD
Memminger Auditorium - 56 Beaufain St, Charleston, SC 29401

About the ring

Ring Ceremony

The design for the College of Charleston ring dates back to 1843 and is the same for men and women. Women were first admitted to the College in 1918 “in exact parity with men.” Pierrine Smith ‘22 was the first woman to graduate from the College in 1922 and she did so as valedictorian of her class, banishing forever the theory that women could not pass the College’s rigorous curriculum. As she approached commencement, her fiancé, George Byrd ’21, had a miniature of his ring made for her as a gift and the tradition of men and women wearing the same ring was born.

The signet-style ring features the seal of the College of Charleston, derived from the City of Charleston’s seal, adopted in 1783. It features the Latin phrases Sapientia Ipsa Libertas (Wisdom Itself Is Liberty) and Ædes Mores Juraque Curat (She Cares for Her Temples, Customs, and Rights). The seated woman holding the scepter is a personification of Charleston and evokes an image of the city deriving its livelihood from the sea and prepared to defend itself. She is shown presenting a laurel wreath to a young man holding a diploma in front of a classroom building. The date 1770 refers to the year of the College’s founding.
Rings are available in yellow or white gold, silver, or celestrium. Your initials, degree, class year, or sorority or fraternity may be engraved inside. A pendant necklace is also available. A portion of your ring purchase supports programs and scholarships for the College of Charleston.

Ordering your ring or pendant necklace

Rings are available in yellow or white gold, silver, or celestrium in a variety of finishes. Your initials, degree, class year, or sorority or fraternity may be engraved inside. A pendant necklace is also available. Payment plans are available. A portion of your ring purchase supports the programs and scholarships of the College of Charleston’s Alumni Association. If you are unable to participate in the Ring Days posted above, please visit or call 1-800-225-3687 and a Balfour representative will be happy to assist you.

Ring Pendant

CofC Pendant


The Ring Ceremony

A CofC Tradition