2016 junior class ring features doors of Plumley Armory as reminder of campus

The Norwich University junior ring has always been a unique symbol of success to each class that receives it. Events that take place for each class make their ring truly distinct for the specific class.

Each Corps of Cadet junior class ring by tradition has its own special design or theme, and this year is no exception. “I really wanted the ring to have an overall theme to it,” said Junior Ring Committee Chairman Michael Tamulonis, 20, a studies in war and peace major from Tinley Park, Ill. “If you can’t assign any meaning to the ring, it’s just a piece of metal,” said Tamulonis.

“I really pushed for the (Plumley Armory) doors,” said Tamulonis. The Plumley Armory doors on the ring are a symbol of the “challenges we did face and continue to face,” said Tamulonis, noting Plumley Armory is where the class of 2018 entered as recruits but left as recognized members of the Corps of Cadets, leaving behind all the rook challenges they faced together.

The Junior Ring Committee is made up of juniors that were elected by their peers to spearhead the task of designing what would forever be the Class of 2018’s junior ring. The committee is overseen by one advisor who is there to set the boundaries for them.

William Passalacqua, advisor to the Cadet Ring Committee and assistant commandant of cadets, said he is there to assist but not entirely micromanage the committee. “They guide themselves, I just guide the leadership to stay within the parameters,” said Passalacqua. “I just provide guidance and direction for the events they need to execute, I let them plan and execute.”

The committee follows the guidelines given by the University for the ring, such as the budgeted amount, according to Passalacqua, who said some of the budget is actually included in the contact with Jostens, which manufactures the rings. The school must still pay for the class gifts, events, and the dinner.

The advisor also plays a big role in helping the committee overcome challenges, such as figuring out what was actually going to have importance on the ring. “Too much can clutter the ring,” said Passalacqua. “The more iconic things you try to bring in, the more cluttered the ring will look.”

“The challenge in actually designing the ring was figuring out what embodies the class as a whole,” said Tamulonis. According to committee member Kevin Seery, a 20-year-old history major from Long Island, N.Y., events took place during the year of the design, which influenced some of the features on the ring.

During the time of the committee design meetings, the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attack on Paris took place. “We wanted to incorporate it, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France and a symbol of freedom,” said Seery. The attack is something the class of 2018 will then be able to honor and remember.

The Junior Ring Unveiling night is the first major event for the Class of 2018 in terms of their ring. The class gets to see their ring for the first time, and learn the meaning behind the design. “I love what the school represents, therefore I love what the ring represents,” said Seery. “It truly represents the bond and the struggle of being a cadet at Norwich.”

Before the final product was set for the final design, it took several different meetings for a little over a month, according to committee member Shanique Hepburn, 20, an international studies and Spanish major, from East Orange, N.J.

When the Jostens artist brought out the final designs, Hepburn and the rest of the committee were very pleased. There were two designs and the committee knew right away the second was “the one,” said Hepburn. “Everything was just in the right place.”

While this year’s juniors describe the beauty of the ring and what it means to them so far, Tyler Wilson, a 21-year-old senior and business management major, from Schenectady, N.Y., recalls what it was like for him when he actually received his ring in the spring of 2016.

“You realize it’s finally happening, your three years of hard work has paid off,” said Wilson. The junior ring is an easily recognizable symbol among not only current students, but to alumni as well. “The ring represents a legacy, people have gone off to do great things after Norwich while wearing that ring,” said Wilson.

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