|THE CITADEL | PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE||
Long lost ring reunited with owner
Tony Clinton, ’85, doesn’t remember exactly how he lost his class ring – just that he did a few months after graduation. Now what’s important is that nearly 20 years later he has his ring back thanks to a Hayesville, N.C., family who recently joined The Citadel family.
About four years ago a family friend of Bill and Kathy Waters found the ring and gave it to the couple who at the time had a son considering attending The Citadel. The Waters figured they could drop the ring off at the same time they dropped their son off on campus. But he opted to go to Virginia Military Institute instead. The ring went into a drawer and was forgotten.
Then in August 2004 another son, Stephen Waters, arrived at The Citadel for his knob year. The Waters brought Clinton’s ring with them when they dropped off Stephen. A phone call from The Citadel Admissions Office gave Clinton the good news that his ring had been found.
“I was shocked. I was surprised,” said Clinton. “I’m glad to know that it was not stolen or sold.”
Clinton, an Atlanta native, graduated from The Citadel in 1985 with a degree in business administration. He worked in computer sales after graduation and then joined the Air Force where he served seven years as a pilot. He is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines and is based in Orlando, Fla.
According to The Citadel Alumni Association, Clinton’s good fortunate isn’t all that rare. The alumni office, which coordinates the ring program, gets between four and five inquiries a year about lost and found rings.
Clinton said after learning his ring was found, he tried to remember exactly how he had lost it. The best he can recall is it was at a party in the mountains the summer after his graduation.
The ring, which had Clinton’s name etched inside the band, was found at the Fires Creek Recreational Area near Hayesville, N.C. Clinton believes that is probably the same place that the 1985 party was held.
Not long after he lost the ring, Clinton ordered a new one. But these days
he is wearing his original Citadel ring and is thankful to the Waters family
for hanging onto it and for getting it back to him.
Forward this to a friend