Virginia remembered the three football players killed in an on-campus shooting last fall during graduation ceremonies Saturday, with athletic director Carla Williams thanking the community for its support during difficult times.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry were awarded posthumous degrees in December. Perry was scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2023.
In her keynote address, Williams discussed the support the campus and beyond in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 shooting.
“Without one spoken word, the people of this community said in unison, in their movement and their spirit, we care about each other,” she said, reflecting on the vigil held on campus the night after the shooting, per ESPN. “Please do not forget what we’ve been through together, and may it compel you to show you care about the suffering and the experiences of others. You are the ones responsible for that vigil. You. Students. You are bright and shining examples of the best we have to offer. We need your courageous spirit.”
Running back Mike Hollins, who was shot and wounded in the campus incident, participated in the ceremony. A fifth-year senior, he took part in Virginia’s spring game.
The football program posted a tribute on Twitter, too, with coach Tony Elliott holding Perry’s jersey in a photo.
“Congratulations to D’Sean Perry and the Class of 2023,” the post read. On “a day of celebration, we would like to honor Lavel, Devin, and D’Sean.”
A former Virginia player, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., faces a variety of charges in connection with the shooting, including three counts of second-degree murder.