University of Florida Class Ring

Founding Year: 1905

Mascot: Albert and Alberta Gator

Colors: Blue and Orange

The origins of the University of Florida can be traced back to 1853 when Gilbert Kingsbury established the East Florida Seminary in response to the legislation signed by Governor Thomas Brown on January 6, 1853, that granted public support for higher education in Florida.

The East Florida Seminary was Florida’s first state-supported institution of higher learning which operated until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

In 1858, a North Carolina educator and state senator from Alachua County named James Henry Roper opened the Gainesville Academy which he eventually offered to the State of Florida so that the East Florida Seminary can be relocated to Gainesville.

One of the University of Florida’s four predecessor institutions was the Florida Agricultural College, founded by Jordan Probst at Lake City in 1884. It became the state’s first land-grant college under the Morrill Act.

The Florida Agricultural College wanted to spread out its viewpoint and curriculum beyond its agricultural and engineering origins, modified the name to the “University of Florida,” a name that the school held for only two years.

In 1905, the Buckman Act was passed by the Florida Legislature, which merged the state’s publicly supported higher education institutions. Henry Holland Buckman, the member of the legislature who wrote the act, later became the namesake of Buckman Hall, one of the first buildings that was structured on the new university’s campus. The Buckman Act put an end to the six pre-existing state-supported institutions of higher education, and merged the assets and academic programs of four of them to form the new “University of the State of Florida.” The four predecessor institutions included the University of Florida in Lake City (formerly Florida Agricultural College), the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, the South Florida Military College in Bartow, and the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School in St. Petersburg.

Led by its mayor, Mayor William Reuben Thomas, the City of Gainesville, campaigned to be home to the new university. On July 6, 1905, the Board of Control granted their request and selected Gainesville for the new university campus. In 1909, the name of the institute was simplified from the “University of the State of Florida” to the “University of Florida.”

Since the institute’s founding over 160 years ago, it has continually pushed the boundaries of knowledge forward. The University of Florida has pursued the greatest heights of research and innovation, always together and always pointing towards the improvement of Florida and the world.

RING TRADITIONS

The University of Florida class ring, better known as the Gator Wrap is a distinctive and unique embodiment of the traditions and memories that make up the University of Florida experience.

No other university has a more profound sense of tradition and pride than the University of Florida. Ever since the late 1930s, the Gator Wrap has been a tradition among the University of Florida students and alumni. Former student body president, Stephen C. O’Connell (who later became a Florida Supreme Court justice, University of Florida’s sixth president, and the namesake for the O’Connell Center) designed the Gator Wrap and it has remained the same since its conception.

A new tradition of bestowing the Gator Wrap Ring on recipients at a ring ceremony was started by the University of Florida in 2007. The event is held every 12th of April where attendees learn about the ring’s history from Cynthia O’Connell, widow of President O’Connell.

During the ceremony, the students hear about the explanation of the ring’s symbolism and they are reminded that wearing the ring makes them emissaries for the University of Florida. The recipients of the ring then recite and sign a pledge promising to honor their alma mater as they are called forward to receive their rings.

At commencement, students are asked to turn the ring around to face the world, as a symbol of their alumni status.

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Courtesy of ufbands.com

ABOUT THE RING

The unique design of the Gator Wrap Ring differs from the class rings of other academic institutions because of the featured alligator (or gator) with gaping jaws on both sides of the ring’s shank.

The graduation year of the ring’s owner is displayed between the alligator’s teeth on the ring’s right shank. The left shank features the degree bestowed upon the owner also between the alligator’s teeth.

The bezel exhibits “University of Florida” and “1853” (the year the University of Florida was established). Traditionally, the bezel holds a blue stone, one of the University’s official colors; the stone may be faceted or smooth.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA TRADITIONS & TRIVIA

Albert the Gator

The alligator was chosen as the University of Florida’s mascot in 1911, after a local vendor sold school pennants imprinted with an alligator emblem.

Hum the Fight Song

Sing along to the University of Florida fight song, “Orange and Blue!” The Pride of the Sunshine, the team’s marching band, performs the song every time the Gators score a touchdown.

UF’s Favorite Couple

Be sure to snag a photo with the team mascots, Albert and Alberta. Perhaps they purchased their matching UF attire at Ilene’s Gator Store, one of the best shops in Gainesville to buy gameday outfits!

The Swamp: Home Field Advantage

The Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as the Swamp, is where the Gators play their home games. Home games sell out pretty quickly because of all the loyal fans.

Mr. Two Bits Sightings

George Edmondson, or Mr. Two Bits, is known for starting a tradition in which he leads fans in a cheer that goes, “Two bits! Four bits! Six bits! A dollar! All the Gators, stand up and holler!”

Sway Along to “We Are the Boys”

Once the end of the third quarter rolls around, get ready for roaring crowds collectively singing and swaying along to “We are the Boys from Old Florida.” This song has been a popular song at UF sporting events since the 1920s.

Know the Alma Mater

The Alma Mater is a classic tradition! As the band plays the infamous tune, everyone in the crowd sings along.

The Gator Growl

Every year, over 40,000 excited fans celebrate the beginning of football season at the stadium. Accompanied by fireworks and live music performed by popular contemporary artists, the Gator Growl is an affair you don’t want to miss!

 

University of Florida Class Ring

Courtesy of herffjones.com

RingWraps is not affiliated with the University of Florida or the University of Florida Alumni. All Class Rings, Ring Designs, images, videos, logos and information used are the trademark and copyright of their perspective holders and RingWraps makes no claim of ownership. This information is used for educational purposes only.