Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bonds of Gold Ceremony Connects Classes of 1967 and 2017

By MC3 Nathan Wilkes

The U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2017 held the 12th annual Bonds of Gold ceremony in Memorial Hall April 7.

During the ceremony, the USNA Class of 1967 donated several class rings and miniatures to be melted down and included in the gold for the Class of 2017's class rings.

Photo by MIDN 3/C Dylan Prenda

 “This tradition is part of the ‘Another Link in the Chain’ program, which connects alumni classes with their fifty-year counterpart midshipman classes,” said Bill Dawson, executive vice president of engagement for the USNA Alumni Association. “By passing down their rings to the next generation of naval officers, the members of the Class of 1967 share their experience, their legacy and create a permanent bond with these midshipmen.”

This year’s ceremony celebrated the donation of nine rings and miniatures from graduates, wives and mothers from the Class of 1967. Each ring was presented to the class with personal testimonies from the honorees and donors of the rings.

Photo by MIDN 3/C Dylan Prenda

“We are humbled and honored to have a few members from the Class of 1967 here to share in this tradition with us tonight,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Chosnel Raymond Jr., Class of 2017 president. “We have been provided an extraordinary opportunity to hear some of the incredible adventures each of these nine rings represent and have the honor of carrying their experiences into our rings.”

One of the most iconic representations of the Naval Academy, midshipmen started wearing class rings in 1869. Each ring is engraved with the Naval Academy seal on one side and a unique crest, designed by the class, on the other.

Photo by MIDN 3/C Alison Koenig

In honor of the 50-year connection, the Class of 2017 chose to incorporate elements of the 1967 class seal into their own design.

“This is one of many events that highlight the importance of carrying on the history and traditions of the Naval Academy from the alumni to the midshipmen,” said retired Cmdr. Howell Parry, USNR. “As these midshipmen develop into the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps, they will carry our legacy and use it to forge their own.”

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