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Beta Nu at University of Mary Washington

Our chapter was pleased to make a

donation to the centennial celebration

of the Classical Association of Virginia

in memory of its chapter founder, Laura

V. Sumner, and to have its donation and

tribute noted in the association’s fall 2010

anniversary program.

We held three initiation ceremonies

this year. The first and third ones, held in

November 2010 and April 2011 respectively,

were to initiate three members who were

unable to attend the usual annual spring

ceremony. The second, in March 2011, was

our customary spring initiation ceremony,

in which we inducted 16 regular members

and presented Dr. Federico Schneider as a

candidate for honorary membership.

This year Beta Nu held its 11th annual

Classical Essay Contest for local middle

and high school students of Latin. In the

fall we sent flyers to Latin teachers in Fredericksburg,

Virginia, where Mary Washington

is located; to teachers in neighboring

counties; and to members of the Fredericksburg

Area Latin Teachers’ Association

(FALTA), the membership of which

extends across northern Virginia. We

invited essays, 2–3 pages or approximately

750 words in length, on the following topic,

Ovid (Met. II.137) once wrote “Medio tutissimus

ibis.” Do you agree or disagree with the

advice in general that “You will go safest by

the middle course?” We judged the entries

in January at a combined essay-reading session

and pizza party, and we awarded Eta

Sigma Phi medals, book prizes, and certificates

to first and second place winners

in two levels of competition, junior (sixth

through ninth graders) and senior (tenth

through twelfth graders). We also awarded

two certificates for honorable mention at

the senior level and two at the junior level.

In March, Beta Nu hosted its 14th

annual Eta Sigma Phi public lecture at the

University of Mary Washington. Dr. Eric

Casey, Associate Professor of Classical

Studies at Sweet Briar College, spoke on

“Carrying Across: Metaphors of Cultural

Translation in the Letter of Aristeas.”

Finally, all members of Eta Sigma Phi at

Mary Washington are automatically also

members of the Classics Club. Throughout

the year, through the Classics Club, we

participated in numerous social events,

ranging from celebrating Classical holidays

such as the Saturnalia and the Lupercalia

to holding a banquet on Rome’s birthday.

Once a week during the spring semester

we watched an episode of I, Claudius, and

in April we held an all-night reading of the

Iliad and other Classical works.

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