1894 Class Ring Donated to Georgia Tech

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The family of Trezevant Holmes recently donated the alumnus’ 1894 class ring to Georgia Tech. Holmes’ great-grandson Russell Holmes presented the ring to President G.P. “Bud” Peterson during a ceremony at the Alumni House on July 7.

“One-hundred and sixteen years later, it makes its way back home,” said Holmes as he handed the ring to Peterson. Holmes, an insurance agent at a Florida firm founded by his great-grandfather, decided to donate the ring to Tech after speaking to his client Jack Pruitt, a Tech alumnus.

Marilyn Somers, director of the Georgia Tech Living History Program, said the 1894 ring is the earliest known class ring from Tech. Class rings were not widely popular until the 1920s. The next oldest ring housed at Tech is from 1919.

“The ring may have actually been made here on campus by Mr. Holmes as a shop project,” said Somers. “The only mark it bears is his signature carefully engraved on the inside — a signature that matches the one he entered into the Registrar's book in 1890. All in all, the ring is a remarkable piece of Georgia Tech memorabilia and we are very grateful to have it back at Tech.”

Holmes earned multiple awards of distinction for his shop work. He was also a member of Tech’s earliest football team, playing in the first Tech-UGA game in 1893. That matchup gave Tech its first ever football victory, defeating the University of Georgia 28-6 in Athens.

The 1894 gold ring bears the seal of the Georgia School of Technology, the original name of Georgia Tech. It will be on permanent display in the Alumni House Mezzanine.

Writer: Mark DeLong



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