Controversy quickly arose over whether to honor the Beaver or the Great
Dome on the bezel; some members of the committee even questioned MIT's
choice of the beaver as its mascot. The committee looked to the original
discussion over the mascot (formally decided upon by President MacLaurin in
1914), calling upon the now famous defense of the beaver by Lester Gardner,
Class of 1897:
"The beaver not
only typifies the Tech (student), but his habits are peculiarly our own.
The beaver is noted for his engineering, mechanical skills, and industry.
His habits are nocturnal. He does his best work in the dark."
Citing the fact that many other schools had buildings similar to our
Great Dome, the committee ultimately decided to honor our hard-working
and industrious mascot on the ring and thus the Brass Rat was born. With
the debate settled and the ring finally designed, the Class of 1930 was
the first to proudly wear a Brass Rat.