One Clemson student sought out her great-great-grandfather’s class ring in the Alumni Center

“I knew (Clemson University) was a family school where I had a bunch of legacy, but I didn’t know how far back it went,” said Hannah Griffith ’25, a rising senior from Lancaster, South Carolina. 

Her father, Mark P. Griffith ’06, aunt, uncle, and maternal grandfather, celebrated Lowcountry sculptor Grainger McKoy ’69, are all graduates.

But when Hannah was accepted into Clemson, her grandmother told her of her great-great-grandfather, Izard “Witte” Bull, who graduated from Clemson in 1906. His class ring, she said, had been donated to the University by the family in the ’80s. Naturally, Hannah went looking for it.

A gold Clemson Ring with a dark blue stone in the middle is pictured.

With help from Special Collections and Archives, Hannah found Bull’s picture in the 1906 TAPS yearbook; for reasons unclear, his nickname was listed as “Bampy,” which got a laugh from Hannah’s grandmother.

Then Hannah visited the Alumni Center’s ring case, and she found what she was looking for.

“It was really cool to go to the Alumni Center and see their whole display of rings and how they’ve evolved over the years,” Hannah said. Bull’s ring was there waiting for her. “His ring is very similar to the style and design now, but it’s a little beat up. Some of the gold plating has worn off on  the signet. It looks very antique. Still gorgeous.”

To find her ancestor’s ring this year meant a lot to Hannah. A rising senior, she received her Clemson Ring in the spring.  

“It’s been fun to learn more about my family history,” Hannah said, “and being at Clemson has made me feel more connected to my state. It’s been special to become an adult here. 

“And I think the legacy goes both ways. I think about my descendants, too — they might be here as well — and our Clemson story going on for years to come.” 

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