Since its debut in 1929, the MIT class ring — affectionately nicknamed the “Brass Rat” for its featured mascot, the MIT beaver — has become a distinctive symbol of the Institute, worn proudly by many of its 138,000 alumni.
Each year, the Brass Rat is redesigned by a committee of 12 students from the second-year class, who then collaborate with the manufacturer, Herff Jones. The committee is responsible for designing, premiering, selling, and delivering the ring to its class. (The MIT graduate ring, known as the “Grad Rat,” is redesigned in a similar process every five years.)
“We try to represent every single community and every single background on the ring,” says Nicholas Salinas, vice chair of the Class of 2021 Ring Committee. “So that way, students are excited and really feel like they have a home here at MIT.”
Video by Melanie Gonick/MIT | 5 min. 17 sec.