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Ringing in the third year

First years have Convocation; fourth years have graduation, but what about those who are stuck in the middle of their undergraduate experience?

Third-Year Class Council took the time to honor at least half of these students this weekend with an inaugural third-year ring ceremony.

"We were trying to make this a crossroads event for those students at the turning-point between first year and fourth year," said Amanda Cloud, Third-year Class Council educational programming chairwoman.

The ceremony, which followed the Intermediate Honors Ceremony, was attended by close to 500 students and their families.

After a keynote address by Dean of Students Penny Rue, the name of each student was read aloud.

Students then walked across the stage to receive a commemorative walnut ring box and to shake hands with Aaron Laushaway, third-year class advisor and assistant dean of students.

Jostens and Artcarved, the company which manufactures the official class rings, donated the ring boxes, which were adorned with a University seal.

"U.Va. has got a long history of tradition and we thought a ring ceremony would be successful here," Cloud said.

A letter from the Seven Society also enhanced the tradition involved in the ceremony with a quote by George Bernard Shaw.

Nonetheless, organizers said only time would tell if the event will join the many other long standing University traditions.

"Hopefully it's something that people will catch on to," Cloud said. "We're hoping the Second-Year [Class] Council will be able to carry on the event next year."

The ceremony also was one of the largest events put together by either of the newly formed Second- or Third-Year Class Councils.

"It showed that forming Second- and Third-Year Class Council was useful and people are looking for things to provide class unity," Third-Year Council member Matt Madden said. "The success on Friday showed that their formation was well worth it."

Compiled by Ted McGraw