Infinite Possibility and an Undeniable Glow

Infinite Possibility and an Undeniable Glow

Every spring, Marlborough’s Junior class gathers with family, friends, Advisors, and their Class Dean to mark the passage into their final year at the school in a cherished tradition dating back to 1933: Ring Ceremony. On May 9, 2024 the Class of 2025 became the latest group of students to participate in this special event.

During the ceremony, each Junior’s name was called, and their Advisor or an alumnae-relative lit their candle from a central flame, symbolizing the generations of alumnae and community members who lend their light to the legacy of Marlborough. With each flickering flame, the gathered crowd was encircled by the students in a ring of candlelight, a poignant representation of the circle of support offered by the Marlborough community. Ms. Regina Rosi Mitchell, Head of Upper School, shared the history behind this momentous occasion and offered further insight into the symbology of rings. 

“The tradition of the Marlborough ring itself began in 1925, almost 100 years ago,” Ms. Rosi Mitchell shared. That year, Marlborough unveiled its newly designed crest—the same one we still use today—which students decided to engrave on their class rings. For the following eight years, graduating Seniors simply picked up their rings from the office. The Class of 1933 decided this exciting occasion deserved a bit more fanfare. On April 6, 1933, the first Ring Ceremony was hosted. They introduced the candle lighting element and added speeches from the Class President and Head of School. 

Forty years later, the Class of 1973 shifted the ceremony from Senior year to Junior year. The contributions of the Classes of 1933 and 1973 are still honored today. “Ring is the only Marlborough tradition that features candlelight and it continues to mark and celebrate the transition from Junior to Senior year,” noted Ms. Rosi Mitchell. Addressing the parents and guardians specifically, Ms. Rosi Mitchell reminded them of the milestone year ahead, saying, “Tonight is a reminder that time really does pass us by so quickly. I would ask that you do your best to not let this coming year go by without noticing all of the special moments—big and small—and the traditions that will define the next 12 months.”

Similarly celebrating the joy and possibilities of Senior year, Class Dean Anna Robinson addressed the Class of 2025: “As I look out over this ring of light formed by your class, I see infinite possibility and an undeniable glow that, while illuminating each individual, creates an even stronger light when seen together. As we enter Senior year, my hope is that you continue to celebrate each other and let the spirit of collaboration and connection for which you are known serve as a guiding light.”

As the rings on each Junior’s hand warmly glowed in the flickering candlelight, each speaker throughout the ceremony offered their own interpretation on the symbology of the class rings. Head of School Jennifer Ciccarelli offered advice and asked thought-provoking questions about the ways in which the Class of 2025 will choose to lead as Seniors. She said, “These symbols serve as reminders of the privilege and responsibility that come with leadership. You will be role models for all of the Violets at Marlborough next year. How will you, as a class, take on that role? What sort of a legacy do you want to leave at Marlborough?”

Ms. Rosi Mitchell emphasized the commitment and legacy represented by Ring Ceremony and wearing a class ring. She said, “The ring that students wear today represents their lifelong commitment to learning and the lifelong friendships that they have made. The Class of 2025 is part of Marlborough’s history, and in turn, Marlborough will forever be a part of them.”

With affection and pride, Class President Taryn A. ’25 addressed her peers. She celebrated their successes, highlighted their camaraderie, and offered her own perspective on the meaning of the ring. She shared, “When I think about a ring, I think about our class. We seem to hold an encompassing energy of passion, joy, honor, generosity, and—best of all—spirit. We honestly might be untouchable with this ring of greatness around us.”

A “ring of greatness” does seem to encircle the Class of 2025. As they celebrate this treasured rite of passage into their Senior year, Ring Ceremony serves as an enduring symbol of the values that will guide them into their final year of Marlborough, stepping into their roles as thoughtful, impactful leaders at school and beyond.

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In the image that accompanies this article, four students stand on Booth Field and show off their class rings by extending their hands toward the camera and smiling. 

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