U.S. Naval Academy Class Rings
By day, I am a registrar at the United States Naval Academy Museum, tracking down long lost artifacts and accessioning amazing historical finds. By night, I am a first year doctoral student studying military and public history at George Mason University. I received my undergraduate degree at the US Naval Academy in 2008 and earned my MA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. If you have any interest in the project or my other research you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit my Blog or Portfolio page.
The Naval Academy Class Rings project is an extensive undertaking and thus a continual work in progress. At the close of Spring 2016 semester you will be able to peruse and learn about the graduates through 1920. My goal completion date is October 2016 to finish the entirety of the dropdown list.
A museum display case is a finite space, limited in interpretation and reach. The class ring exhibit at the US Naval Academy Museum honors the academy’s traditions and preserves the memory of its graduates, but lacks interpretation beyond listing a ring’s ownership. The Naval Academy Class Ring Project is an effort to put a face to the name, build a connection, and reach beyond the museum. Amongst the rings owners are POWs, Medal of Honor recipients, Surface Warfare officers, Marines, and aviators. By digitizing items in our own collection, we will tell graduate’s stories with unique items and innovative 360° views of class rings. Our goal is to create a virtual exhibit highlighting graduates represented in the class ring display. At the surface, a visitor to our site leaves with a greater understanding of these heroic alumni. However, by assembling nearly 1500 never before digitized items and placing them in context with textual narratives, our project will serve as a resource for researchers, teachers, students, family members, and armchair admirals. The eventual transference of the online project to a kiosk format will offer the physical visitor that same opportunity.