Ring Premiere held for Class of 2024

RingComm relieved to know that Brass Rat tradition will live on

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The Class of 2024 RingComm reveals one face of the class’s brass rat at Ring Premiere Friday.

Ring Premiere for the MIT Class of 2024 took place in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium Feb. 11. The Class of 2024 Ring Committee (RingComm) presented a ring that “encapsulates the special moments, events, and stories that connect the entire class of 2024,” according to the Brass Rat 2024 website.

RingComm revealed the design of the new ring Friday evening to thunderous applause. The bezel design of the 2024 Brass Rat features the signature beaver in the Charles River with MIT’s Great Dome head-on in the background, a change from past designs which placed the beaver on the Harvard Bridge with a perspective looking up-river. The ring design pays tribute to the Class of 2024’s “unconventional college experience” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the design includes an oak leaf to represent the fall semester the class completed remotely. The design also includes a hacker’s map that RingComm says is “the most accurate map of the main campus underground” possible.

Ring Premiere was only the second time the Class of 2024 has been brought together, the last time being Sophomore Formal in October 2021.

The price of the Brass Rat has slightly decreased from $1194 last year to $1114 for a medium 14k yellow gold ring. However, ring pricing is still trending upward; a similar ring five years ago cost $900.

RingComm partnered with the Accessing Resources at MIT (ARM) Coalition to offer $180 subsidies to sophomores who filled out an application by Jan. 31. This subsidy covered the cost of an Ultrium ring plus shipping and handling, but could be applied to any ring.

In an interview with The Tech, RingComm Premiere Chair Ben Rich ’24 stated that “a large portion of RingComm’s funds is allocated to subsidies and financial aid” and noted that the Brass Rat Melt Project also helps to provide subsidies.

Rich stated that over 250 students initially applied for Brass Rat subsidies. He stated that “now that Premiere has happened,” RingComm has continued to receive emails from students about subsidies and is “trying to work with everyone” to offer subsidies to these students as well.

Subsidy decisions are made by the ARM coalition. Rich stated that “the goal is to get a ring for everyone” rather than “trying to decide” between subsidy applicants and awarding different amounts to different students.

RingComm Social Chair Frankie Schulte ’24 said to The Tech that one of his “favorite things about RingComm” is their “ability to accommodate” students who might need “extra help” to get a ring.

Rich said it was “definitely a relief” to have Ring Premiere behind him. He stated that the first few weeks of school were “a lot of stress, trying to finish everything off” and prepare for the event but thinks Premiere “went well.”

Rich expressed a concern that “coming off of COVID semester, not as many people would be aware” of the Brass Rat tradition or “know what Ring Premiere is.”

Schulte stated that usually, “one of the main driving factors that gets people to know about the rings and buy the rings is seeing it on upperclassmen.” He said it was a “genuine concern” that sophomores may not be as “aware” of the Brass Rat tradition. Schulte said that following the high turnout at Premiere, it now seems that “the tradition will still live on,” which is “very, very relieving to know.”

Rich said that RingComm has “gotten a ton of help” from both 2022 RingComm and 2023 RingComm. He noted that he had to “go all the way back to the ’22s” for advice on Ring Premiere with the Class of 2024 being the “first class in two years that’s going to be able to have both” Premiere and Ring Delivery.

Rich also acknowledged the help of members of MIT’s administration in “getting everything organized,” namely Associate Director of Student Activities Jacklyn Liberman, who has “been with the [Brass Rat] project for six years now.”

Rich said that he is “so thankful so many people showed up” to Ring Premiere, and that the high energy and positive reception of the event “made RingComm’s night.”

RingComm is hosting in-person ordering events at which sophomores can be sized for their ring and displaying different bezel sizes, metals, and ring finishes this week. Sophomores have until Feb. 18 to be sized for and order their rings.

Frankie Schulte ’24 is the Social Media Editor at The Tech.