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Originally published Friday, April 26, 2013 at 1:56 PM

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Va. State students mourned; died during initiation

Hundreds gathered on campus of Virginia State University to remember two young men who drowned in the Appomattox River during an initiation rite.

The Associated Press

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ETTRICK, Va. —

Hundreds gathered on campus of Virginia State University to remember two young men who drowned in the Appomattox River during an initiation rite.

VSU President Keith Miller called the two 19-year-old freshmen men of promise and potential at a memorial held Friday in the gymnasium on the Ettrick campus of VSU.

He blamed the loss of Marvell Edmonson and Jauwan Holmes on "outdated rituals" and said he was hopeful others would learn from their deaths.

The two students were swept away by rapids as they attempted to cross the Appomattox during an initiation for an unsanctioned social club called "Men of Honor." Other students survived the ordeal.

Four men have been charged with hazing in the deaths.

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