Class of 2023 Brass Rat unveiled at Ring Premiere

Bezel includes Purell stand and 0.0 GPA after two semesters of P/NR

The Class of 2023 Ring Committee unveiled its Brass Rat design at Ring Premiere April 19 via a YouTube livestream beginning at 8:23 p.m. ET. Ring Delivery is tentatively scheduled for October 2021.

The main bezel features a beaver holding a silver tube containing a diploma scroll, connecting the first and last shared experiences of the class. Its tail showcases a “23” hidden as an optical illusion and the railing behind the beaver bends into a pi symbol, representing the March 14 anniversary of admissions decisions.

The left half of the bezel features an inscribed “IHTFP” in pixelated MIT buildings reflected in the Charles River. A Purell hand sanitizer stand appears on top of the Kresge Auditorium, symbolizing the hacking culture at MIT. On the Green Building, a “0.0” marking “immortalizes the class’s freshman year GPA, due to Pass/No Record and emergency grading.”

The right side of the bezel features Boston landmarks, including the Citgo Sign, Prudential Center, Boston Common, and brownstone houses representing the fraternity, sorority, and independent living groups. An apple tree is a “nod to Harvard for our cross-registered classes and shared library system,” Chair of the Ring Committee Ananya Gurumurthy ’23 said during the premiere. 

Above the beaver, there is a crescent moon and a full moon, representing the two moon phases during convocation and graduation, the first and last days that the Class of 2023 will be students at MIT. In the sky, a rocket “marks the beginning of a new era in space travel,” referencing the Falcon 9 flight as well as the Perseverance Mission, according to Gurumurthy.

Margaret Zheng ’23, committee publicity co-chair, said that the seal shank represents “the diversity of our class,” replacing the “traditional MIT seal featuring two male figures.” The left side of the seal stands a female figure holding a hammer, symbolizing hands-on innovation and craftsmanship. Her “modern apparel” emphasizes “durability and convenience.” The male figure on the right holds a book while wearing a lab coat, symbolizing the “tremendous contribution made by scientific researchers and medical workers at MIT and around the globe.”

The class shank features Athena and Cerberus in front of the Great Dome. Cerberus’s three heads represent the students’ past, present and future connections to MIT. Athena lays her hand on top of Cerberus’s head, “guiding the hound as well as MIT students through any obstacles we may face,” said Ring Premiere Co-Chair Katherine Guo ’23,  Her face of determination “mirrors our class’s own determination as we overcome many challenges of this year as well as any future challenges in the years to come.”

The Brass Rat also features the Cambridge and Boston skylines. The Boston skyline includes Zakim Bridge, Massachusetts State Hall, the John Hancock Tower, and the Boston Logan International Airport, while the Cambridge skyline includes the Kresge Auditorium, Stata Center, and the List Visual Art Center. On both skylines, the Harvard Bridge makes an appearance, connecting the Cambridge and Boston communities. 

The Hacker’s Map lies on the inverse of the bezel. This year, the MIT tunnel system map is a scaled model of the actual system, drawn in reference to MIT building floor maps. In addition, the Class of 2023 map features a graphic of an office chair, a reference to the shared experience of rolling down the tunnels beneath the main Infinite Corridor. 

A quarter rest is seen next to Building 26 on the map, representing not just the melodies played by students on the piano outside of 26-100 but also the year spent away from campus. The compass is stylized as a power switch symbol, with the straight segment indicating true north. This recognizes the technology culture at MIT as well as how the pandemic has “turned the students off and on again,” said Rachana Madhukara ’23, treasurer of the committee.

Before revealing the official bezel, the committee presented a joke bezel featuring a reconnecting Zoom screen, an Among Us figure, senator Bernie Sanders sitting on a chair, unit vectors describing the “Right Hand Rule,” and a French Tim the Beaver in the Charles River, riding a boat sponsored by Corona beer and wearing a face mask.

Rings can be ordered online.