Unearthing Memories

Sophia Spano unearthed buried treasure that brought memories back to her grandfather. The 6-year-old was digging in her backyard at home in Westerly, R.I., last May when she found a shiny, red stone and sterling ring.

Sophia gave the ring to her father, who had bought the former family home in 2005. Dan Spano recognized the Greek fraternity letters engraved in the ring because he knew that his father was a brother in Phi Sigma Kappa during his URI years.

Forty-five years ago, Joseph John Spano ’64 lost his fraternity ring shortly after graduation. The North Stonington, Conn., resident never knew what had happened to his ring and never expected to see it again. After college, he went on to teach chemistry and physics for 40 years, first in Uncasville, Conn., and later in Charleston, S.C.

The sentimental value resurfaced with the ring. Spano was the first member of his family to graduate from college. He plans to keep the ring, a gift from his mother, very close to him from now on.

By Erica Sloan ’11