University of Maryland Eastern Shore The 125th Anniversary
125th Anniversary
"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of UMES" 1886-2011




The University Ring

The University ring, long a symbol of ‘Hawk Pride’ for students and alumni, has featured a variety of images over the years reflecting UMES’ evolving legacy.

Among images that designers have used: the school mascot, the traditional Great Seal of Maryland and the Student Services Center’s rotunda dome.

In the past, it was not unusual for the top of the ring to display the Hawk, a majestic bird of prey with keen eyesight, grace and agility. The Hawk symbolizes strength and power. Some versions have even included small diamonds.

A late 20th century UMES class ring

Although difficult to see, one side typically is reserved for the state seal consisting of an escutcheon, or shield, bearing the Calvert and Crossland arms quartered. Above are an earl’s coronet and a full-faced helmet. A fisherman supports the escutcheon on one side and a farmer on the other – figures represent Lord Baltimore’s two estates; his colony in Maryland as well as Avalon in Newfoundland, Canada.

Rings that include the dates 1886, 1926 and 1970 refer to institutional milestones. The first represents its founding as the Delaware Conference Academy, a private, church-supported school.

In 1926, the Methodist Episcopal church handed over control of Princess Anne Academy, as it was called, to the state of Maryland, making it a public institution. Behind the shield is a torch, symbolizing education and knowledge.

On July 1, 1970, Maryland State became the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Rings that display a stem of laurel leaves is a symbol of UMES’ athletic heritage. Rings that display a Hawk’s nest, typically located under the seal, signify the nurturing, student-centered environment that is a UMES hallmark.

These are among the images that have been incorporated into various designs of University rings for generations of students who have come to UMES to study.

The ring serves as a physical representation of all that is good about the University of Maryland Eastern Shore - an everlasting symbol of Hawk Pride!


"Celebrating the Journey: The 125th Anniversary of the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore" 1886-2011