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June 18, 2020


Alumni will now have a chance to own ‘a piece of history’ from the Naval Academy Chapel

INDIANAPOLIS, June 18, 2020 — Herff Jones, a division of Varsity Brands and the leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students, has announced a partnership with the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association to offer alumni a chance to own a rare piece of history — part of the Naval Academy Chapel dome.

Last year, it was announced that the Naval Academy Chapel would undergo a transformative renovation, one that will alter Annapolis’ skyline for the next 30 years. Originally, the plan was to repair the dome, but further inspection indicated the copper needed to be fully replaced. It will take several decades for the shiny copper to reclaim its patina. To preserve the history of the Chapel and honor a legacy that means so much to countless generations of midshipmen, the copper removed from the dome is being repurposed into heirlooms available for purchase by alumni.

“By repurposing the copper, we are furthering the Alumni Association’s mission to perpetuate the Academy’s history, traditions and memories by allowing it to live on through those to whom it means the most,” said Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation President and CEO Byron Marchant, a member of the Academy’s Class of 1978.

Heirlooms available for purchase include a framed Chapel photo, a commemorative brick, a challenge coin, and a paperweight, among other copper keepsakes. Each heirloom will be packaged with a certificate of authenticity, ensuring that its story lives on as the heirloom is handed down through generations to come.

“Our business is centered around memorable experiences. We hope that with every look at a Herff Jones product, our customers experience a sense of pride and a dozen or more memories along with that feeling,” said Herff Jones President Steve Down. “With that in mind, we are incredibly honored to be partnering with the Naval Academy to produce this line of historic copper heirlooms, which will undoubtedly hold special meaning to their new owners.”

A portion of net proceeds will benefit the Academy’s margin of excellence funding through the Naval Academy Foundation.

To place an order for a Chapel dome heirloom, visit


Indianapolis-based Herff Jones is the leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A division of Varsity Brands, Herff Jones’ products include class rings and jewelry, caps and gowns, yearbooks, diplomas, frames and announcements as well as motivation and recognition programs. Focused on building long-term relationships through a nationwide network of over 2,000 employees and sales partners, the professionals at Herff Jones have been helping elevate the student experience throughout the lifelong journey of education for more than 100 years. For more information about Herff Jones or Varsity Brands, please visit or

About the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association:

Founded in 1886, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association seek to serve and support the United States, the Naval Service, the Naval Academy and its alumni by furthering the highest standards at the Naval Academy; by seeking out, informing, encouraging and assisting outstanding, qualified young men and women to pursue careers as officers in the Navy and Marine Corps through the Naval Academy; and by initiating and sponsoring activities which will perpetuate the history, traditions, memories and growth of the Naval Academy and bind alumni together in support of the highest ideals of command, citizenship and government.