The Norwich class ring is presented to third-year members of the Corps of Cadets at the Junior Ring Ceremony. The ring is a prized possession, and much effort goes into earning the right to wear it.
The ring tradition at Norwich began in the spring of 1923 when the senior class adopted a class ring for each member who would graduate in June. In time, the process of ring design and presentation shifted to the junior year. However, it was not until the mid-1960s that a policy for standardization of design was in place.
Each class is permitted to design one side of the ring. The second side of the class ring, however, must conform to a University standard.
Norwich rings, like the service academy rings, feature a class crest on one side and the school crest on the other, with a bezel surrounding a stone or similar inset on top.
Tradition dictates the cadet wear the Norwich ring on their right hand with the class side facing him or her until graduation. Upon graduation, the Norwich ring is turned around so that the 1819 side of the ring with the word “HONOR” appears closest to the heart and “NORWICH UNIVERSITY” around the circumference of the bezel appears facing out, allowing the general public to read the name of our beloved institution.
The Norwich side
Norwich was the first private military college in the country, established in 1819. Our founder, Captain Alden Partridge, understood that a structured military lifestyle combined with rigorous academics would benefit those pursuing careers in both the military world and the private sector.
Flanking either side of the shield, they represent our kinship with Vermont’s first cavalry. Today, cadet officers wear sabers in lieu of carrying rifles.
Flowing on either side of the shield, the scroll distinguishes those who wear the ring as members of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets.
Depicts a cannon and an engineer’s transit in the foreground of a mountain range, with the rays of the morning sun rising above it. The cannon represents the military heritage of the institution; an engineer’s transit represents our academic mission. Finally, the rising sun over the Green Mountains represents the light of knowledge flowering on “The Hill.” The numerals 1819 hallmark the founding date of the University.
Surmounted on the Norwich shield, symbolic of strength and courage in its depiction of both our school and as our national symbol.
Superimposed upon the talons of the eagle, it stands for the fundamental attributes of character. Honor is a virtue that impels loyalty and courage, truthfulness and self respect, justice and generosity. A cadet’s honor is never in question if he or she is true in thought, word and deed.
“I Will Try”
It was said to have been used as a rallying cry by former Norwich President Truman Bishop Ransom, before his death as he charged a hill at the Battle of Chapultapec during the Mexican War. It conveys the spirit of the University and has been adopted as our motto.