On a football Saturday this September, Alex Ogura, CSOM ’16, was on his way back from celebrating a rather unremarkable win against Northern Illinois when a metallic glimmer caught his eye. Down in the mud outside an otherwise inconspicuous Mod, Ogura saw “a compression in the ground, a circle with something shiny - like something you could overlook a million times.”
Something compelled Ogura to stop - to look (can you say, the ghost of Eagles past?). He dug around the object using his fingers and unearthed what appeared to be a jeweled ring. Though it was covered in grime, Ogura pocketed the trinket and brought it to his room for closer inspection. A thorough scrubbing revealed the object to be a Boston College class ring; the owner’s name and graduation year—2001—were engraved inside.
Not satisfied with simply playing archaeologist, Ogura took to the Internet to do more digging. “I was personally curious,” he admits, “I wanted to see if, maybe, there was a good story behind this.” Exciting as the initial discovery was, the first few minutes of the online search were not as serendipitous. The alumnus wasn’t on Facebook and a Google search yielded no promising results. In a final effort, Ogura turned to a college senior’s best frenemy: LinkedIn.
“He was there! This was likely the guy! Class of 2001!” Ogura says to me, reliving the moment. “Luckily I found him on LinkedIn and one thing led to another."
Ogura messaged the alumnus, explaining to him the unlikely situation. “I didn’t want to seem a little weird, messaging him totally out of the blue,” Ogura admits. "But knowing that he was a BC alumni, it was a little natural that we would be able to communicate about this.” The alumnus was ecstatic to be hearing from Ogura, and confessed he had replaced the ring years earlier, forgetting about the predecessor who was lost too early on to make a mark.
While the newer ring spent its time safely on the finger of a proud alum, its cousin, reluctant to say goodbye, remained lovingly encased in the grounds of its alma mater. Hundreds, if not thousands, of BC students have trampled over the ring on their way to safari-themed Mod parties, or leapt jubilantly above it celebrating a football victory against USC. Without him even knowing it, a part of this alumnus—his ring, his name—lived on at BC for 14 years while he took his life elsewhere. Realistically, Ogura can imagine the alumnus dropping the ring sometime during the course of senior week, or right before graduation, making his final exit from the Mod. “It would have been cool if he lost it at a football game,” laughs Ogura, giving into a dreamy sense of destiny.
While Ogura and audiences of his story were toying with fantasies of fate, the alumnus sent a prepaid envelope to retrieve his estranged jewelry. Ogura acknowledges that his dedication to returning the ring is unique, but even more incredible to him is how the alumnus was “willing to trust some 21-year-old kid" and "willing to continue conversation on very BC-specific things." They caught up on common traditions, Mod-going and a mutual commitment to BC.
This commitment to BC "is what BC kids are all about," explains Ogura. An immense pride for a school he repeatedly describes as “pretty special” is one thing Ogura will certainly carry with him after he graduates this spring.
With regards to purchasing a class ring of his own, Ogura responds laughingly, “I think I’m gonna have to - right? - after that. Hopefully if I lose it someone else gives it back to me, though maybe not 14 years later.”