For the first time, a chronological history of the St.FX Students’ Union X-Ring has been published for your reading pleasure.
The following information is an interpretation of the recorded history taken from a research project prepared by Paula King, Stuart Sankey, and Veronica Visentin on April 10th, 1987, as well as information gathered from speaking to various parties from the StFX community.
1928 - X-Ring face designed by Zita Cameron but not adopted as a symbol of St.FX.
1942 - Senior Class President, Willie “Locker” MacDougall, created a grad ring based on the 1928 design. The X-Ring was born.
- In previous years, the Senior Class President would appoint a committee to design a graduate pin.
1948 - Engineering program officially adopted X-Ring, offering the ring to graduates of the program.
1951 - Juniors ordered X-Rings despite senior opposition
- Senior opposition erupted as juniors were purchasing rings early and wearing them as soon as their senior year started.
- Students’ Union passes by-law stating juniors could buy rings but not wear them until registered as seniors.
1952 - Committee formed to review 1951 rule and implement standardization around X- ring. Without standardization X-Ring would lose its value
- Juniors argued that, if engineers can get X-Rings in second year, juniors should too.
- By-law passed by Students’ Union that stated no student can wear an X-Ring unless he/she is a senior or third-year engineer.
1953 - X-Ring design is challenged; proposal to add name of program to bottom of ring. Design proposal struck down.
1955 - Juniors violate by-law and wear rings immediately after seniors graduate, before juniors have registered in senior courses.
- There is conflict around definition of a senior. Clear distinction created that you are a senior once registered in the fall.
- Ensuing pressure from juniors on Students’ Union forces creation of committee to have open house hearings around entitlement of X-Ring.
- Committee to set clear entitlement guidelines
1956 - Committee decides that X-Ring is a symbol of accomplishment, the Xaverian Family, and its unity. You are not a member of the family until you are a senior. Fighting over entitlement is not a symbol of a unified family and must stop.
- Committee decision accepted by faculty, seniors, and second year students, hesitation in frosh and junior classes.
Decision is as follows:
- Committee of students and faculty to be formed to handle distribution of X-ring (start of official X-Ring committee).
- Students in good academic standing and registered as seniors are eligible to wear their rings in senior year.
- Council amends proposal to include second year engineering students
- Also added that a student who starts at StFX but goes elsewhere to finish degree (i.e. Pre-med) may obtain a ring once
graduating from the other program.
1957 - X-Ring copyrighted under the X-Ring committee
- Committee given sole power to authorize X-Ring producers
- Committee decides students should receive their ring at an annual ceremony
1958 - First ever X-Ring ceremony
1960 - X-Ring production put out to tender
- Two companies offer to produce the rings, each with an altered design. Committee chooses to go with Alteen’s as the producer but with original design.
- Cameron’s continued to sell X-Rings even though they were not yet an official supplier
1961 - Seniors force the abolishment of a formal X-Ring ceremony because they did not want to have to wait to receive their rings.
- Informal ceremonies continued to take place.
- Birks chosen as new X-Ring producer for financial reasons
1962 - Juniors force the Students’ Union to amend their bylaws to allow them to wear their rings in the last half of their second semester.
- Rest of student body outraged, stating that the move makes the X-Ring symbolically worthless.
1964 – By-law put forward to allow all students in second year to be entitled to an X-Ring.
- The by-law was struck down on the basis that the X-Ring is a symbol of achievement and not membership of the Xaverian family.
- By-law amendment to allow Alumni to order rings through Alumni Office
- By-law put forward that there should be two rings. A Xaverian family ring as well as a graduate ring. By-law struck down.
1967 - Amendment is made to Students’ Union by-law to make it official that the X-Ring is the one and only ring of St. Francis Xavier University.
- Re-stipulated that juniors cannot wear rings until they are seniors
1972 - X-Ring ceremony deemed to be held on St. Francis Xavier feast day on December 3rd of each year.
1978 - X-Ring supplier, Lackey’s, is threatened with law suits by StFX for selling underweight rings.
- Lacky’s provides a rebate to all concerned students.
1981 - Cameron’s is stipulated as official local supplier of X-Rings and Josten’s the national supplier. Birk’s and Lackey’s also involved with sales
- Ceremony and committee permanently established
- Before this time, X-Ring purchases were not closely regulated and it was not uncommon for unreliable persons to purchase rings.
1980’s - Ceremony held in the MacKay Room
1992 - X-Ring Ceremony moved from University Auditorium (under the Chapel) to inside the Chapel, taking place in the morning.
- While being held in the Auditorium, it was an evening event
- X-Ring numbers were called out instead of each recipient’s names
2006 - Ceremony moved to the Keating Millennium Centre for 2007 grad class due to a limited seating capacity of 970 at the St. Francis Xavier Chapel. St. Ninian’s Cathedral was considered but deemed too small as well.
Originally compiled by Greg Coulas ‘12