All Net Profits to go to the StFX Xaverian Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries
On May 13, 2016, StFX announced that the university would begin manufacturing and selling the famous X-Ring, with all net proceeds to go to the Xaverian Fund for scholarships. This new initiative, piloted by Bob Hale, Head of Student Services, will kick off this fall with a grand unveiling in September. Both StFX and Cameron’s X-Rings will be available for purchase by the Class of 2017.
The History of the X-Ring
The X-Ring, a widely recognized symbol, was created during the Second World War. There have been two providers of the X-Ring since the early 1980s. Cameron’s Jewellery has been manufacturing the X-Ring since 1942, while the second provider has varied over the years. Previous makers have included Birks, Josten’s, and Rideau.
Regulations on X-Ring production were introduced in the early 1980s; prior to this time, the ever-increasing number of retailers would sell X-Rings with few questions asked. To ensure that X-Rings were restricted to those who had fulfilled degree requirements at StFX, means to curb the unauthorized sale of X-Rings were introduced and all potential retailers, other than Cameron’s, were obligated to submit a bid to manufacture the ring.
Given Cameron’s history manufacturing the X-Ring, the company was excused from submitting a proposal and was selected as the local supplier. The other provider, the national supplier, was selected among the submitted proposals. In 2013, the university formalized its relationship with Cameron’s when it requested that they submit a manufacturing proposal to be the local supplier.
As university’s contracts with Cameron’s and Rideau expire this summer on August 31, 2016, Hale saw an opportunity for StFX. “The contracts for Cameron’s and Rideau came up this year [and] we thought it was a good time for the university to get involved, considering it is our brand,” Hale reported. From now to perpetuity, StFX will be the new national supplier of the X-Ring.
The Xaverian Fund
Under StFX’s mandate, all net profits from the sale of the rings will go toward the Xaverian Fund. A five-year campaign started by University President Kent MacDonald in 2014, the Xaverian Fund aims to raise $50 million for a new StFX scholarship fund. The Xaverian Weekly met with Iain Boyd, the Chief Campaign Officer of the Xaverian Fund, to find out more about the Fund itself.
The Xaverian Fund campaign has set out to collect $50 million in donations that will go toward creating scholarships and bursaries for students who would not otherwise be able to come to StFX. These donations are then invested, and it is the interest on this investment that will create the money for scholarships and bursaries every year. The Investment Committee has guaranteed a return of at least 4% each year on the Fund; once the full $50 million has been invested, $2 million will be generated each year for new scholarships and bursaries. As of May 2016, the Fund had reached $15.5 million toward its anticipated goal.
Boyd stated he was “delighted to know that the new profits of any rings that are sold are going to the Xaverian Fund [and creating] further incentive for students to purchase there [knowing] any profit will go back to help students.”
The X-Ring Experience
The university is not yet at liberty to disclose the name of its selected manufacturer, although it has been confirmed that the chosen provider has a long history and uses an ethical gold piece. Hale was reluctant to disclose many other details at the time, claiming he didn’t want to give too much away and ruin the surprise.
It has been confirmed that the X-Ring Store will be located in the Bloomfield Centre; another full-time university staff member told the Xaverian Weekly that the store will most likely be situated in the Book Store on the first floor. Taylor Chase, President of the Students’ Union, disclosed that preliminary ideas for the X-Ring Store include opportunities to make appointments for group fittings and an area to have photos taken. In Chase’s words, “They’re really looking at making it an experience for students.” Any and all other exceptional services offered by the StFX X-Ring Store will be announced in September.
StFX’s rings are to be priced competitively with Cameron’s. According to Hale, the average X-Ring is marked up by 20-50% depending on the size.
The Future for Cameron’s
Despite the university’s involvement, Cameron’s remains optimistic about its future of manufacturing the X-Ring. “The notion that Cameron’s would be denied the right to sell its own X-Ring beyond the foreseeable future is presently inconceivable,” one shareholder commented. The company is confident that its reputation for quality products and services and its long history of supplying generations of alumni with X-Rings will allow Cameron’s to compete in the new market.
As Cameron’s is currently negotiating its new contract with StFX, stakeholders were unable to disclose details regarding the length of the new agreement between Cameron’s and the university.