Last semester, Wabash’s Advancement Office received an unexpected letter from a woman in Hamilton, Montana. It was addressed to “whomever can help” and contained photos of a 1970 class ring.
“I have a class ring from your College, ‘Class of 70,’” the note from Delores Meuchel stated. “The initials G.A.J. are engraved on the inside … I would like to return it to the owner.”
Aaron Selby ’06, director of annual giving and advancement services, got to work and began tracking down the ring’s owner. He examined the attached photos and noticed Delta Tau Delta’s letters featured. From there, Selby used the Wabash Alumni Directory to look up members of the Class of 1970 who had those initials and were brothers of the fraternity.
“This search quickly identified one person and I reached out to Gregory A. Jackson of Helena, Montana, to see if this was his ring,” Selby recalled. “After talking with Greg by phone, he informed me that he believed this was his class ring and was amazed.”
Jackson’s ring had been missing for 28 years.
“Anytime I would open a box or go through things again, I would look to see if I might somehow find it, but it never surfaced,” Jackson said of the ring, which went missing after a separation and move. “It has a special meaning to me and I was heartbroken when it disappeared.
“Over the years I always held out the hope that maybe it would show up.”
And it’s a good thing Jackson never lost that hope.
Selby put Jackson in contact with Meuchel, who lived about 150 miles away.
Meuchel told Jackson that she had purchased a “box of junk” from a garage sale in Elliston, Montana, about 20 miles from Helena. The box was full of aluminum cans, pull tabs and a ring.
“She was mildly intrigued and put it in a jewelry box where it sat for a couple of years,” Jackson said. “She was going through the jewelry box fairly recently and thought maybe she could see who the ring belonged to.”
The ring was eventually mailed and returned back to Jackson around Thanksgiving.
“It’s crazy to think that my ring made a journey around the state of Montana and back to me after all this time,” the Wabash alumnus said.
Jackson, who works as an attorney, said he’s thankful for Meuchel taking the time to track him down and for the College officials who helped facilitate the reunion.
“Graduating from Wabash is a big deal,” Jackson said. “To have that piece of my life back is just absolutely phenomenal. I can’t express enough appreciation.”