In the Spring of 1929, C. Brigham Allen called upon one member of the classes of 1930, 1931, and 1932 and entrusted them with the task of designing a ring that the Institute Committee would ultimately approve as the Standard Technology Ring.
Controversy soon arose over whether to honor the Beaver or the Great Dome on the bezel, and the status of the Beaver as the Institute’s mascot was even questioned. The Committee looked to the original discussion over the mascot, calling upon the now famous defense of the Beaver by Lester Gardner, Class of 1897:
“We first thought of the kangaroo which, like Tech, goes forward in leaps and bounds. Then we considered the elephant. He is wise, patient, strong, hard working, like all who graduate from Tech, has a good hide. But neither of these were American animals. We turned to Mr. Hornady's book on the animals of North America and instantly chose the beaver. The beaver not only typifies the Tech (student), but his habits are peculiarly our own. The beaver is noted for his engineering, mechanical skills, and industry. His habits are nocturnal. He does his best work in the dark.&rdQuo
Citing the fact that many other schools had buildings similar to our Great Dome, the Committee ultimately decided to honor our hard-working and industrious mascot on the ring—and the Brass Rat was born.
Ever since, each class has appointed its own Ring Committee, which still has the same fundamental mission: to design a ring that will inspire us while we are here, unite us once we leave, and, above all else, unmistakably symbolize the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.