Hardin Joyce's lost ring comes home

Priscilla Joyce with her late husband’s Clemson ring — lost and found.

When Hardin Joyce graduated from Clemson with an engineering degree in 1951, he purchased a Clemson ring, which he wore proudly. He had served in the military after high school and chose Clemson in part because a fellow soldier was always talking about his time there. In 1966, Joyce lost his ring, and no matter how much he and his wife, Priscilla, searched their home in Thomasville, N.C., they never found it.

Hardin Joyce died in 2011, and Priscilla now lives in a retirement facility. In March, she received a phone call from Jessie Chambers, who lives in the Joyces’ old house. Chambers had been replacing shrubs near the back porch and came upon a Clemson ring from the Class of 1951 with Hardin Joyce’s name and hometown inscribed on it. Buried from 1966 until 2018, the ring was in near-perfect condition.

The lost Clemson ring of Hardin Joyce ’51, unearthed from the yard of his old home.

While Hardin Joyce wasn’t alive to enjoy the return of his ring, it meant a great deal to Priscilla, who shared the story with McLaurin “Chuck” Rivers, who shared it with us. She now treasures that physical symbol of his pride in Clemson. 

“I was delighted,” Priscilla says about the return of the ring. “It brought back such wonderful memories. The ring was very valuable to him and meant a great deal. He had so many wonderful memories of his days of being in Clemson.” In years past, the Joyces regularly returned to campus for sporting events and to visit favorite spots from his college days, when he played on the baseball team. “He loved his Clemson,” she says.

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