The Power of the Ring

I had halfway convinced myself that I didn’t need another class ring. Obviously that thought didn’t last long as I now have a very pretty gold ring on my finger. But what was it that really made me change my mind? It wasn’t the desire for a new piece of jewelry this time.

The power of the ring was something that I had been told about from all of the ring wearing, past graduates of Luther College I have met so far. They all told me, “This ring will get you places, just wait and see.” I didn’t really believe them at first. I mean, it’s just a piece of metal and rock on my finger, how special is that? The stories persisted, but I continued to brush them off.

And then there was this moment. I was in Florence, Italy and I happened to run into someone who was wearing that beautiful gold band and ruby gem! I struck up conversation by mentioning Luther and the next thing I knew this lovely lady was buying my lunch. I thought all the stories were dramatic and overplayed, but here I was, halfway around the world having lunch with a Luther grad.

It was then, that I decided I would take the hit, buy the ring, and wait for the networking and lunch dates to come! I have officially had my ring for five months and many great conversations (and a couple free coffees) have resulted from it.

I didn’t believe in the power of the ring until it happened to me. But here I am, a soon to be Luther graduate, ready to tell story after story of all the great things my ring has given me. And to think, it should only take about 80 more lunches to cover the original price!

The excitement I have to show off my (then) new Luther Ring.
What's better than a Luther ring? A Luther coffee mug? Or maybe the other way around depending on your perspective.

{ Return to Branna's Blog for more posts. }


  • April 20 2017 at 2:37 pm
    Bob Melcher

    Got my ring resized last Homecoming and since I got it back the Gold fell out of the L and now I have to take it back to get that fixed. Now all you see is the 67 in the red. Bummer. 

    Other wise I am proud to wear the Ring.

    Bob Melcher

    Class of 1967

  • April 20 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Eric LC'92

    I've been approached too many times to count in coffee shops and brew pubs, on international flights, at sporting events and even walking down the promenade in Prague to activate my "wonder twin powers." Believe in the power of the ring!

  • April 20 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I believe that gold band and ruby red gem is just enough to get the spark going. As I'm getting ready to graduate in a month I'm ready to see the great things it can do! I'm glad the stories were true. 

  • April 20 2017 at 3:06 pm
    Melissa Adkins 1987

    I was in Narita airport in Tokyo.  I was sitting in the airport lounge when this man crossed the room purposely coming in my direction.  Just when I was about to pack up and leave, he held his hand out and showed me his ring.  We had the best conversation after that!  My daughter graduates this year and I made sure she has her 2017 ring as our graduation present.  

  • April 20 2017 at 3:12 pm
    Charlie Busch '82

    Believe in the power of the ring.  I've been recognized in cities all over the country as a Luther grad.  When my mom passed in October, I made sure to preserve her '54 ring.  I'll be wearing two rings at my 35th reunion this fall.

  • April 20 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I have worn my ring almost every day since I was at Luther despite getting two more degrees from other universities. I have been approached too many times to count by people who recognized it as coming from Luther and approached me. Likewise, I have approached strangers wearing "our ring" and just by showing mine, a conversation begins! You will never regret the investment--the power of the ring represents a bond and a community. It is truly something special!

  • April 20 2017 at 4:09 pm
    Nate Lindall (Class of 95')

    The ring is a powerful tool in business, allows you to reflect on the great memories at Luther, and is something that you incomplete with when you don't have it.  In 1996 I was teaching in Eden Prairie, living around Lake Minnetonka, and enjoying playing sports on a few extra curriculur programs.  I was playing soccer in a League in Minnetonka.  I had taken off my ring for the game that night.  I went to put my ring on, the very next morning, and had discovered that my bad had a hole in the side pocket.  I must have went back to that field 10 times, scouring the field trying to find my ring.  I spoke numerous times with city workers and park/rec people.  About 4 years later I received a call from the Luther Alumni Office.  A freshman student had found the ring, in the park, and brought it with him to his first day of school.  The Alumni Office was able to read my name on the inside of the ring, and contacted me.  It is not only the ring that sets people apart, but the people who where that ring.  Luther is such an amazing place, because of the people who work and live there.  It has been far to long since I have been back.  I always look forward to meeting people who wear the ring.  Go Norse!  

  • April 20 2017 at 4:16 pm
    Paul Tjostem

    I sadly lost my ring while on a hiking trip. 😟  I saw that Joston's now has a ring replacement program.  I sure wish they had that program when I had purchased my Luther class ring.  It truly is a beautiful ring.

  • April 20 2017 at 4:51 pm
    Eric Davidson '83

    i haven't worn my LC ring in 20 years - just had it resized and will proudly wear it when I return to Decorah for Weston Noble's Celebration of Life the second weekend in May. Soli Deo Gloria!

  • April 20 2017 at 8:05 pm
    Eric Zornow 87

    My first year after graduating from Luther I couldn't wait to get back to Decorah for homecoming.   I had to work that day and after work I was driving way faster than I should have been.  I was pulled over by a state trooper in the middle of WI for going 20 over the speed limit.   He walked up to my car and I handed him my drivers license.   Before he even looked at my license he said, "I bet you are in a big hurry to get back to Decorah for homecoming".     I looked at him with a very puzzled look and he said, "I'm an old Decorah boy myself and I recognized your ring".   He handed me my license back and told me to slow down and get there safely.    

  • April 20 2017 at 8:20 pm
    Jen Boettger '90

    Is it fact or myth that you wear THE RING so you can read it when you are a student and then turn it around so others can read it when you graduate? 

  • April 20 2017 at 9:57 pm
    Tom Getchius '05

    Wear it proud! It will be a conversation starter and so much fun to run into fellow alumni. My most recent experience: I was de-planing in Minneapolis, grabbing my luggage from the overhead, and someone a few rows back yelled "Go Norse!"

  • April 20 2017 at 10:29 pm
    Conn '71

    Go North Central Falcons! Whose rings were a proper Norse blue.

  • April 21 2017 at 7:36 am
    Sarah Sladek '94

    I haven't worn my ring for several years, and this post has inspired me to put it back on! It is indeed powerful, recognizable, and very sentimental. #goNorse

  • April 21 2017 at 3:27 pm
    Kelly Scott 97

    I wear my ring as a reminder of the great friendships I made at Luther. In 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I always wear my Luther ring and other jewelry given to me by family and friends to my doctors appointments. It makes me feel like I'm bringing my support with me to my appointments. 

  • April 21 2017 at 3:46 pm
    To Jen Boettger '90

    Yes Jen, this is what my roommate tells me. Towards yourself to keep perspective through college and out for pride when done:) 

  • April 21 2017 at 3:47 pm
    Thank you

    I absolutely love hearing all of these stories about what this ring means to you all! Each one is beautiful and unique in its own way and I am so glad you're all sharing!! 


  • April 21 2017 at 4:42 pm
    Kirsten O'Quinn '98

    Weird timing on this story popping up, I am anxiously awaiting my the return of my ring from Josten's as my 8 fell off. After almost 20 years, I feel very incomplete without it! I too have met people anywhere and everywhere with "wonder twins" powers - my husband thinks we're all crazy as we do the LUTHER chant! Luther is an amazing place and it's awesome to have an instant connection with people wearing the ruby and gold. :) 

  • April 21 2017 at 8:27 pm
    Leslie Anderson Raymond '95

    Brianna, Would I ever lie to you??  I have been given other rings but never wear them. This one I EARNED. 

  • April 22 2017 at 12:40 pm
    Gina Brown Phearman '87

    The connections that are made through that one little ring are fun, entertaining and worthwhile!   My Luther ring is at the "doctor" right now, but I wear mine with pride. It is that connecting point, that conversation starter. Always Luther proud!!!

  • April 22 2017 at 2:21 pm
    Bethany (Bierman) Krepela '95

    Branna, after reading your blog yesterday, I shared your story with a 1950 graduate (now 90 years old!) named Holger Christiansen. As we enjoyed the soup and sandwich he'd prepared for our lunch, his own ring shone brightly. He recalled that winter of his senior year, he was throwing snowballs in front of Preus Gymnasium, when his ring went flying off, only to be found by another student in the spring, who returned it to the office. They were able to read his initials and return to the proper owner, and he's worn it proudly ever since. GO NORSE!

  • April 24 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Kirk Johnson '82

    My wife, Kerry (Kramer) Johnson '83, and I have made getting the Luther Ring a family tradition ever since my in-laws, Joanne (Doerring) '57 and Milt Kramer '59 gave me mine as a graduation gift. Later, Kerry and I pitched in with my parents to get my brother, Brad Johnson '81, his ring as a birthday gift. Since then, Kerry and I are proud to have purchased three other Luther rings for our daughters: Ashley Johnson '09, Alex (Johnson) Engelken '11, and Annalise Johnson '18. Whenever there is a large group of Luther alumni gathered for a Luther gradution party, we take a photo of all the rings gathered!

  • January 31 2018 at 10:07 am
    Shirley Bostrom

    I am a Macalester grad but my husband and daughters are Luther grads.... Jake Bostrom '61, Kristin Bostrom '89, and Kari Bostrom '93.  About 2 years ago Kari lost her ring and she was devastated, for all the reasons that have been mentioned by others.  She later suffered a medical emergency in which the EMTs revived her twice.  After life-saving surgery she underwent chemo for stage 1 cancer.  At Christmas she was nearly finished with her treatment and Kristin gave her her Luther ring.  But in January she was suffering irreversible lung damage from one of the chemo drugs and she died Jan. 31, 2017 from Bleomycin toxicity.  About a month later we were finishing cleaning out her apartment.  The very last thing I did was to help a friend remove her bed.  I reached under the mattress to flip it off.  There on the box spring was her ring, right below where her head had been.  She had tucked a sheet in and pulled her hand out and left the ring for me.  I have not taken it off.  I now enjoy the power of the ring through her legacy.  Today is the first anniversary of her death

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