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John R. Velasco ’05 holds a 1941 MIT class ring he found on a camping trip in California’s Borrego Desert on December 27. The ring is inscribed with the owner’s initials, although only the first two letters -- J.H. -- are readable.

While the Alumni Office was unable to identify the owner, Harold Radcliffe ’41 suggested that the ring might belong to James Henry Ferguson. Ferguson, a member of Phi Beta Delta fraternity, was listed as dead in the 1975 alumni newsletter. However, Velasco was unable to locate Ferguson’s next of kin. Velasco is still surprised by the discovery. “The biggest mystery is how [the ring] got to the desert.” He thought that because the Navy and Marines conducted exercises in the Borrego Desert in 1941, the owner might have been in the armed forces and lost the ring during training, but the full story remains unknown.