Abroad, several people have asked me about nature of the single piece of jewellery I wear (not counting my watch(es)):
Known by many names in Norway: "NTH ringen", "Høiskoleringen" or simply "Ringen" (= "The Ring"), the ring depicted to the right is worn only by sivilingeniør/Master of Science graduates from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), formerly known as NTH.
The ring has many connotations, and it's a nice and discreet way to highlight one's educational background when meeting new employers, customers etc in Norway. Its history stretches back to 1910, when NTH students started calling for a symbol to unite the alumni from the (then: very exclusive) school, and in 1914 it was decided that the symbol should be a ring. Designed by student Tormod Kristoffer Hustad, it was the winning contribution to a design competition that counted 135 entries. The ring is made in steel and gold with a pure gold globe and its design has remained virtually unchanged since it was introduced.
The process to obtain the ring is a strict one, and the university issues a document allowing the graduated students to purchase the ring only when all the graduation paperwork is sorted out and the student is definitely a siv.ing. (equivalent to Master of Science).
More than 28 000 rings have been sold throughout the years (mine is #28376).
Politically Correctness-wise, wearing the Ring has historically had ups and downs. In the seventies, wearing the ring was not considered good etiquette. Now a lot of freshly graduated students buy the ring; many (both men and women) are keen to discreetly highlight that they do have their Masters, others use it as a door-opener to fellow alumni in business. At the university, the most resistance seems to come from other student groups that are not eligible for the ring (after the traditionally exclusive and technically oriented NTH was merged with the more traditional, open university in Trondheim, the siv.ing. programme was still kept alive, and the programme still require separate application and acceptance, and the studies are still differently structured than the "normal" university subjects).
Just in case you were curious... :-)
Anders Jacobsen |