The Official UM Class Ring - History/Symbols
The class ring, a once coveted symbol of graduation, became more and more diluted due to increased technology and customization over the last thirty years in the design process. Students at many universities across the United States showed little interest in rings and the tradition died out at some schools.
In 2004, while searching for ways to re-establish campus traditions, the University of Miami Alumni Association (UMAA) embraced the idea of a bringing back the single ring concept for all university graduates. The single ring was a tradition very popular in the 1950s. The Official Class Ring Collection evokes special memories of the occasions and traditions unique to the University of Miami - the palm trees lining Stanford Drive, Sebastian the Ibis cheering along side fans at the Orange Bowl, as well as academic excellence.
Our unique ring design is copyrighted to protect it from duplication. The ring is reserved exclusively for individuals who have successfully met the university's eligibility criteria. Designed by a committee of students, alumni, and administration the ring will remain the same in the future. It is a tangible connection, symbolic of the continuous link between students and alumni, for generations to come.
Prior to 1973, the University had gone several years with a variety of helmet and uniform changes and the Federation noted that a number of major colleges have the initials UM. The "U" idea was suggested, which lent itself to slogans like "U gotta believe," and "U is great". In 1973, the "U" became the official logo for the Athletic Department. The symbol had gone from being recognized as an athletic logo to one that represents the entire University and it's commitment to excellence, and has increased in popularity and recognition over the years.
Sebastian the Ibis
Folklore maintains that the Ibis, a symbol of knowledge found in the Everglades and Egypt , is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm. The local marsh bird was considered UM's first unofficial mascot when the school yearbook adopted the name "Ibis" in 1926. Its popularity grew among the students during the 50's. In 1957 San Sebastian Hall, a residence hall on campus, sponsored an Ibis entry in the homecoming celebration. The next year, student John Stormont performed at games in an Ibis costume that was glued, sewn and pinned together and was the forerunner of today's bird. Through the years, the Ibis has become one of the most recognizable college mascots in the United States.
The Great Seal
The Great Seal of the University of Miami had undergone three renditions prior to 1966, when English professor Jack Reynolds led a faculty committee that produced the current version. Based on traditional heraldic symbols, the motto Magnus Est Veritas means "Great is Truth," the book signifies learning, the torch symbolizes the spread of learning, and the key means to unlock learning.