The MIT Brass Rat is a longstanding tradition amongst our undergraduate community. At the end of our sophomore year, we receive our class ring as a reminder that we are halfway done. For many students, it is a confirmation of their efforts throughout freshman and sophomore year, and an initiation into being an upperclassman. The ring is affectionately titled the Brass Rat, though it has not been made out of brass in decades, and the beaver on the front of it is not a rat.
The tradition has always struck me as unique. No other class ring is so easily identifiable, nor so iconic, as the MIT Brass Rat. It has featured in Marvel movies, and led to countless anecdotes of MIT alumni immediately bonding over a shared experience. While each ring features a similar design, each one is unique as it chronicles the story of its bearer through their last two years at MIT and beyond.
A year before the official celebration, a committee of eleven to thirteen students from that year is put together and assigned the task of designing the ring. I was fortunate to be a part of the 2022 committee to design the ring for my class year, then became the first student to have ever been asked to stay on the committee for a second year. For both the 2022 and 2023 rings, I was the de-facto chief designer and illustrator as the company we partner with had recently lost the artistic director responsible for the brass rat. I am therefore quite proud to say that both these rings are the work of my hands.