MIT Brass Rat
MIT's famous class ring is known as the Brass Rat. It is so known because it is made of gold and features a beaver on its bezel.
Each class year at MIT formally gathers three times - once, at the beginning, for the freshman picture; once, at the end, for graduation; and once, halfway through, for the unveiling of the class ring.
Since 1929, the Brass Rat has been designed by a student committee. The design process begins in freshman year with the highly competitive process of choosing the ring committee, or "RingComm," of 12 class members. To be appointed to the Ring Committee, or RingComm, is a highly sought-after honor. The committee is chosen by the Class President and class government following a selective application and interview process.
Every Brass Rat includes elements standard to every ring: a beaver on the bezel, the MIT seal on one shank and the class year of graduation on the other shank. However, each class's brass rat is unique in its design. A student design committee incorporates secret icons and codes special to their class year.
Premiere to Delivery
In the spring term, the sophomores - brimming with curiosity - come together for a grand event: the Ring Premiere. The unveiling of the ring design is one of the most exciting moments of an MIT student's college years.
Following the premiere, sophomores happily line up in MIT's Lobby 10 to view and purchase their very own Brass Rat. In a typical year, 90% of all students will purchase the ring. The year ends with a delivery event, where every sophomore finally receives the Brass Rat.
The Brass Rat is also a part of MIT graduation tradition. At Commencement, MIT students wait not to move their tassles from one side to the other, but rather for the moment when they flip the ring around. While still an undergraduate, students wear the Brass Rat such that the MIT seal and motto and the Boston skyline is viewed, reminding you that you're still a student. Upon graduation, the ring is flipped around so that the graduating year along with the MIT skyline is seen, showing that you have entered the real world, and have the perspective to look back at your time at MIT.
MIT legend says that the ring is one of the most recognized rings in the world, facilitating alumni connections everywhere from job interviews to the supermarket.