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The bezel for the 2010 Brass Rat is presented to the Class of 2010 during Ring Premiere held last night in Kresge Auditorium. Besides the typical features of the beaver grasping a diploma, the phrase “IHTFP” is hidden in the buildings in the background and a fire truck is included to represent a Sept. 11, 2006 hack.
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A streamlined Brass Rat, featuring clear lettering and winks at Harry Potter and last year’s fire truck hack, was the star at a ceremony last night in Kresge Auditorium where the 2010 Ring Committee presented their design.

The committee focused on making the ring “a lot classier,” said S. Balaji Mani ’10, the committee’s vice chair. This year’s ring has fewer symbols, and the words “MIT” and “2010” are larger than in prior years’ rings. “Usually [the words] ‘MIT’ and ‘2010’ are in a trapezoid but we decided to cut it out so it looks bolder,” Mani said. This is the first ring to portray the beaver with its head turned back towards campus — a change which is meant to commemorate the shared experiences of the Class of 2010.

Images of President Susan Hockfield’s Energy Initiative and of the end of the Harry Potter series are both evoked by a lightning bolt striking the dome.

The class shank features a NASA space shuttle, a spiral galaxy, and the mythical three-headed dog Kerberos guarding the key to the Institute. The seal shank is anchored by an owl whose eyes spell out ‘punt’ and ‘tool’ and whose wings make out the class year in Roman numerals.

Over the course of the night, the Ring Committee raffled off four rings, a Nintendo Wii, and 27 gift certificates to various eateries. The ceremony concluded with a toast to the Class of 2010 and a challenge to find the 20 “10”s hidden in the Brass Rat, of which 13 are on the bezel itself.

For the next two weeks, sample rings will be on display in a booth in Lobby 10. Prices for the ring range from $115 to $781. All members of the Class of 2010 are invited to the Ring Delivery event, to be held on April 25 at Moakley Courthouse, which overlooks Boston Harbor.

Joseph P. Diaz ’10, a Ring Committee member, said that the committee met weekly throughout the fall term with a representative of ring company Balfour. “We were a really good group of people,” he said. “We didn’t have many difficulties. I was excited to have opportunity to work [on the ring].” The committee conceived ideas for the Brass Rat from previous class rings and the local news.

Students at the ring premiere received the design warmly. “Our ring will be very fun to look at in the future, from counting the ‘10’s in class to agreeing with the ‘IHTFP’ in the skyline,” said Catherine Melnikow ’10.

Headed by Laura E. Aust, the committee consists of Mani, Adam M. Blakeway, Aria H. Reynolds, Claire I. Mazumdar, Diaz, Kimberly A. Brink, Nicholas A. Souza, Ritu Tendon, Raymond R. Ma, and Emily J. Onufer.

Although gold prices have increased by about 50 percent in the past year, the price of this year’s Brass Rat was not affected by the gold price increase. “The price of the ring is under contract, so it was determined beforehand. Next year’s ring will be impacted though,” said Nancy Whooley, a Balfour representative.

A 14-karat Brass Rat costs about 10 percent more compared with last year’s prices.

More information about the ring can be found online at http://web.mit.edu/2010ringcomm/.