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Dedication Set for New Duquesne Statue that Memorializes a Familiar Ring

A larger-than-life version of the distinctive Duquesne University class ring will be dedicated during Duquesne’s Heritage Week celebration.

The ring, perched on a blue granite base 24 inches square and 40 inches tall on Academic Walk West, will be dedicated in a special ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 1, starting at 10 a.m.

Duquesne President Charles Dougherty as well as Student Government President John Foster will give remarks for the dedication planned during the week when Duquesne celebrates the birthday of the University, its Spiritan roots and the feast day of Spiritan founder Claude Poullart Des Places.

“The ring is as unique in its production as its history merits,” said Steve Bickley, sculptor and professor emeritus at Virginia Tech.

Sponsored by Herff Jones and the Student Government Association, The Tradition Project was developed by recent graduate Franklin J. Giovannelli and student Gregory D. Caspero.

This version of the ring weighs about 100 pounds instead of the usual half-ounce, according to Bickley. The statue showcases the oversized red stone in ruby glass with the Old English “D” associated with Duquesne. The inclusion of 1878 reminds all of the roots of the Duquesne legacy in the year the Pittsburgh Catholic College was founded.

The internal diameter is 19 inches, compared to a more human-sized scale of 1 inch—which would mean the ring is a perfect size for a giant who would be about 114 feet tall, Bickley said.

“Herff Jones is honored to have partnered with Duquesne on The Tradition Project,” added Ken Langlois, vice president of sales. “We want the ring monument to celebrate Duquesne’s long and distinguished history, and represent the unique experiences and school pride we know students and alumni feel when they look at their own class rings.”

The recognizable ring, unchanged since the 1920s, has united people around the world, said Sarah Sperry, executive director of alumni relations. “It’s not only a great memento of their time at the University but represents their connection to Duquesne.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.