When a 90 year-old, family-owned company helps an almost 200-year old American institution blend past, present, and future, the result is nothing less than stunning.
Monday, March 9, 2009 Pease and Curren, a third-generation precious metals refinery in Warwick, RI, hosted the 9th annual West Point Military Academy Ring Melt Ceremony.
Twenty-three donor families contributed West Point Class Rings to be melted and blended into the gold being used to create Class Rings for the class of 2010. But the event was much more than just a blending of gold. It embodied the deep, emotional commitment that cements past graduates to the new graduating class of 2010 and strengthens the bonds of the men and women who form the Long Gray Line.
The ceremony was steeped in emotion and tradition as family members and fellow officers dropped donated Rings into the melt pot while biographies of donors were being read aloud. The families, who were commemorating husbands, fathers, brothers, and grandfathers, followed the melt pot to the smelting room as they watched the Rings transform into a gold ingot, ready for use by Balfour in the manufacturing of the 2010 Class Rings.
“We are proud to be a part of something so special,” states Kimberly Michalik, President of Pease and Curren. “Pease and Curren understands first-hand what tradition and connection mean to West Point, and it is our privilege to host the event at our facility. Watching the faces of the family members as we melt and meld the donated Rings for the next graduating class is priceless. We are moved and honored to be significant contributors to this incredible tradition.”
This year’s donors include a fifth generation West Point family commemorating the late Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, USMA 1946. LTC Armstrong is the grandfather of Cadet Mark H. Armstrong, USMA 2010 and father to Colonel Mark H. Armstrong, USMA 1981.
“I’m proud to be a part of such an historically significant event like this,” states Cadet Mark H. Armstrong. “It makes me feel special to have part of my grandfather’s ring in mine.”
The oldest Ring donated this year hails from the Class of 1904. It belonged to General George R. Allin, who taught at West Point, served in the Vera Cruz Operation in 1914, and was the Commandant of the Field Artillery School before retiring in 1942. His grandson, Colonel George Allin III, traveled from Kansas to donate the Ring.
The Long Gray Line, which represents all West Point graduates, past, present, and future, is more than just a concept. Graduates of the historical institution, which include three Presidents of the United States, 21 cabinet members, and 35 governors, are the brave and noble hands of alumni reaching forward to present cadets and future graduates. To the West Point family, they will always be linked.
Pease & Curren is a third generation precious metals refinery, based in Warwick, Rhode Island, established in 1916. For more information please call 800-343-0906.