The Senior Ring
There have been three generations of senior rings at Catholic High. The one currently used, the third generation, was first given to the Class of 1981 and has been used ever since. The difference between this ring and the second generation is simply the metal. In 1980 the price of gold skyrocketed; for most seniors could not afford to purchase a gold senior ring; thus, the silver senior ring was born.
The first ring had the class year on either side, “Catholic High School for Boys” around the top (just as today), and a flying eagle engraved in the center where we would find the blue stone today. This design was the school’s original seal and dates back to Catholic High’s predecessors, Bishop Morris Preparatory and Little Rock College.
The first generation ring was a solid gold signet ring. A signet ring is a ring without a gem and has a circular, flat top with a seal, crest, or coat of arms engraved into it. These were used typically by kings, popes, and other officials to place their seals into wax to seal important documents.
From 1955 to 1980, the gold ring, which design is exactly like the silver one we use today, was created to celebrate our school’s 25th anniversary. Father Lawrence Frederick ‘55 graduated with this silver jubilee class and received the first gold ring with the current design.
So, if our colors are purple and gold, why is the stone blue? Blue dye and paint were very costly to produce hundreds of years ago, and the only people who typically could afford them were royalty. Therefore, blue has been attributed to royals throughout history, hence “royal blue.” When early Christians created statues or paintings of Mary, they always depicted the Virgin in blue to symbolize her as the Queen of Heaven. Therefore, we honor Mary with our blue stone.
We also honor Mary on one side of the ring. Her image along with the phrase “Mary conceived without sin” around her conveys the Immaculate Conception. She stands on earth and crushes a serpent. This depiction is often called “Our Lady of Victory.”
On the opposite side of the ring below the last two digits of the class year, there is an image of a cross with a crown of thorns resting on it, and rays of light radiating from it. A dove with a halo represents the Holy Spirit at the base of the cross, and both the cross and the dove rest on top of Earth, symbolizing Christ’s presence in the world. Next to the Earth are palm leaves, which represent Christ’s victory over death in the Resurrection.