Atijah Collins, Robert Lancaster, Lyn Wilson, Dana Thomas, Michael Ridlehoover and Ahmad Bhatti. Photos by Phil Jones/Rings courtesy of Jostens.

Class ring

Developed by Dr. Michael Ridlehoover and the active participation of a committee of colleagues, students and faculty, the seal and the ring are a true product collaboration and dedication.

Dean Carol Lefebvre and her faculty take great pride that as the college, now 48 years old, continues to evolve, its symbols and traditions are growing as well. “Traditions and rituals play a large role in establishing a sense of community, a sense of family, and we love knowing we’re helping to create a rich reservoir of memories,” she says.

Components of the Dental College of Georgia's official seal and class ring include:

  • The torch representing education and research
  • The pediment of the Old Medical College representing the heritage of the university’s Health Sciences Campus
  • 32 leaves representing the number of teeth in permanent dentition
  • Eight sundial markings representing DCG’s eight residency programs
  • A serpent as a variation of the symbol of Aesculapius, the Greco-Roman god of healing
  • The founding year of 1969



Carol LefebvreI think it’s so fitting that students took the reins on this project. They’re the ones who will benefit throughout the rest of their careers as they share with the world a tangible symbol of their profound pride in their alma mater. And because of their efforts, every future graduate will benefit as well. -- Retired Dean Carol Lefebvre, DMD

Carol Hanes

We’ve never had that kind of a symbol before. The students are very enthusiastic about it and were very involved in creating it. It’s a focal point that will hopefully stay with us forever. -- Retired Associate Dean Carole Hanes, DMD


 RidlehooverThis is a way of instilling traditions. Not only students, but alumni as well can purchase the ring. I want to be able to see someone I don’t know at, say, a dental meeting in Seattle, and by glancing at the ring know he graduated from the DCG. I hope the tradition will become so entrenched that every student will buy one. -- Dr. Michael Ridlehoover, Class of 2017


Dr. Michael Ridlehoover has boundless pride in his alma mater’s internationally renowned reputation.

Thanks to him, he and his fellow alumni can now demonstrate that pride everywhere they go.
Ridlehoover, who graduated from DCG in May, met with Dean Carol A. Lefebvre a couple of years ago to pitch an idea close to his heart. “We’d just changed our name [to The Dental College of Georgia],” he says, “so I thought it would be fitting to have our own symbol and own identity.”

The symbol Ridlehoover had in mind was one that would enable DCG alumni to recognize each other at a glance, helping cement bonds with old friends and forge instant connections with new ones. “I wanted us to have a class ring,” he says.

Lefebvre loved the idea and immediately set it in motion, forming a committee to draft a design. She had previously also formed a committee to create a seal for the newly renamed college, and Ridlehoover was appointed to sit on both.

Ridlehoover, an Augusta native, drew on several sources of expertise as he served on the committees. For instance, he’s always been an avid woodworker. “I was self-taught, basically through trial and error,” he says. “I like the challenge of imagining something, then making it become a reality.”

He’s had professional experience with design as well. “I’ve done some graphic design in the past,” he says.

In designing both the seal and the ring, he drafted several ideas. Then he and his fellow committee members passed the concepts along to students, seeing what they liked and incorporating their feedback and ideas.

Michael Ridlehoover stands behind Luz Rodriguez and Brent Johnson, as they look at class rings during a Jostens ring order event.

Michael Ridlehoover stands behind Luz Rodriguez and Brent Johnson, as they look at class rings during a Jostens ring order event.