The right to wear The Citadel class ring (“the Ring”) must be earned by study, great sacrifice and loyal service. Closely guarding this right is necessary and reasonable. In the eyes of Citadel alumni, the standard is exceptionally high and must be rigorously imposed. Nothing in this policy is intended to infer otherwise. Extremely strong justification is required to authorize anyone, other than an eligible alumnus, to be awarded the ring.
- The Citadel Alumni Association (CAA), as holder of the trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for all Citadel class rings, by unanimous vote of The Citadel Alumni Association Board of Directors, on 20 February 2016 approved the following rules governing the purchase and wear of class rings and approved additional updates on 15 February 2020:
- The following rules apply to Citadel class rings purchased for wear by those authorized by Office of the Registrar as “academically qualified”.
a. Any student that qualifies to wear a ring as a cadet (“Cadet Ring”), will be eligible to purchase the Cadet Ring. The class appearing on this ring must be the year the individual graduated or the year of graduation of the class with which he/she entered as a freshman. If the cadet graduates in fewer than four years, he/she may purchase a ring bearing the year of graduation and be eligible to have the ring remade when rings are issued to the class in which he/she entered with as a freshman. Any cost incurred in the remaking of the ring will be born by the individual.
b. Individuals who leave The Citadel due to suspension, dismissal, or expulsion for less than honorable reasons including but not limited to honor violations or disciplinary violations prior to graduation and the conferring of a degree, or fail to complete academic requirements as determined by the Office of the Registrar for graduation on or before the end of the second summer session the year after the purchaser’s commencement shall return their Cadet Ring to an administrator of the college or the CAA and receive a full refund.
c. The CAA hereby grants to cadets a revocable license to display and wear The Citadel Cadet Ring arising upon a cadet’s execution of the ring order form. In exchange for the right to wear the Cadet Ring, a cadet (or the representative of the cadet’s estate): 1)Agrees to pay in full the purchase price for The Citadel Cadet Ring; 2)Shall not leave The Citadel or be suspended, dismissed or expelled for less than honorable reasons including but not limited to honor violations or disciplinary violations prior to graduation and the conferring of a degree; and 3)Must complete all academic requirements as determined by the Office of the Registrar for graduation on or before the end of the second summer session the year after the purchaser’s commencement. Failure to
complete any of these requirements constitutes default as described in this policy, which shall entitle the CAA to revoke the right of a Cadet to wear and/or display the Cadet Ring which is considered the intellectual property of the CAA. A Cadet authorizes The Citadel and its Office of the Registrar to communicate as minimally as possible to inform the CAA regarding 2) and 3) above. To secure a Cadet’s obligations, payment, or otherwise, to the CAA under this agreement, a Cadet grants a continuing security interest to the CAA in rights embodied in The Citadel Cadet Ring, for which the Cadet has been granted under this agreement, and authorizes the CAA to make any fillings or take any action in connection therewith that the CAA deems necessary or appropriate.
d. Female Cadets academically qualified may purchase the “male penny weight” Cadet Ring or the “female penny weight” Cadet Ring. It should be noted that the “male penny weight” ring may not be available in smaller finger sizes due to limitations in manufacturing.
e. All miniature rings and jewelry items bearing the image of The Citadel class ring will display the same year as the purchaser’s Cadet Ring or that of an immediate relative. The miniature ring may be purchased only by those authorized by this policy to wear the “male or female penny weight” Cadet Ring. Gifting of the miniature ring is permitted.
f. Cadet Rings will not be presented to any eligible cadet before his/her class receives their rings at the ring presentation.
g. CAA will hold ineligible rings from the recent class group order until after Summer II one year after the Cadet Ring presentation. Any remaining ineligible rings will be returned to the manufacturer at that time. If a member of that class becomes eligible after that time, he/she must place a new Cadet Ring order.
- All other graduates will be afforded the opportunity to purchase the “Non-Cadet Ring”, and it will bear the year of their graduation. The provisions of this Policy except for 2(a) and 8 apply to all other graduates in addition to cadets.
- The CAA does not allow for the purchase of The Citadel Cadet or Non-Cadet Rings by anyone (eligible or not), for the purpose of presentation to someone not academically eligible to wear The Citadel class ring. All purchasers of The Citadel class ring must be eligible to purchase the ring and sign a statement attesting that the ring is for their personal use.
- In order for a person to be given the right to be presented a Citadel Cadet Ring that has not been earned academically, the following criteria must be followed:
a. The person must be nominated by the class of the year that the ring will bear. This nomination must be submitted in writing and signed by at least 25% of the addressable CAA members of that class to the Ring Committee to be forwarded with a recommendation to the Executive Committee. For classes now attending The Citadel, the nomination must be signed by a majority of the class presently enrolled and submitted to the Ring Committee to be forwarded with a recommendation to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, by majority vote, must make a recommendation to the Board of Directors, AND
b. The Board of Directors must approve the award of a Cadet Ring by a 3/4 majority vote of voting members in attendance at a board meeting, AND
c. A separate 3/4 majority vote of voting members of the Board of Directors in attendance at a board meeting is also required for the presentation of a ring with said 3/4 vote to determine whether the presentation will be of a Cadet Ring or a Non-Cadet Ring.
d. In this paragraph the word “approve” means authorizing a non graduate to have a ring and the word “presentation” means the deciding of which type ring, either Cadet or Non-cadet, said ring will be.
- In order for the Board of Directors to suspend any portion of this policy, a 3/4 majority vote of voting members in attendance at a CAA board meeting is required. The provisions of Paragraph 9 below shall apply in order for the Board of Directors to suspend any portion of this Policy concerning the Cadet Ring and the Non-Cadet Ring.
- 7. The Executive Committee of The CAA will have authority to determine the disposition of any Citadel Rings that become property of the Association.
- In addition to the above, a South Carolina Corps of Cadets student to be academically ring eligible must have resided in the barracks for six (6) full semesters which can include one (1) semester studying abroad but not to include any summer sessions for barracks residency purposes.
- Disputes that may arise pursuant to this Policy shall be determined by the CAA, in its sole discretion, under the following procedure:
Any disputes shall be submitted in writing only to the CAA Ring Committee. The CAA Ring Committee shall make a written recommendation to the CAA Board of Directors with 3⁄4 vote of the Board members in attendance at a CAA board meeting to determine ring eligibility pursuant to this Policy.
- To make any change in the design, composition including metal or general distribution (meaning classification of the alumni) of any ring, the request must go through the following process:
a. Be approved by the CAA Ring Committee
b. Be approved by a 3/4 vote of the Board of Directors in attendance at a CAA board meeting
c. Be approved by 3/4 vote of the CAA membership with a minimum of 1000 valid returned votes, with any change of the Cadet Ring being approved by the members who graduated as a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets and therefore eligible to acquire and wear the Cadet Ring.
- The CAA shall continue to consider a policy in relation to the rings which takes into account the Religious Accommodation Policy of The Citadel.
- All votes of the board of directors pursuant to this Policy must be with a quorum in attendance.