UVA awards posthumous degrees to students killed in mass shooting last month
Funerals for University of Virginia student-athletes Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry took place in their respective hometowns.
Three Black University of Virginia football players shot and killed by a former teammate in November have been honored with posthumous degrees.
According to ESPN, Devin Chandler majored in American studies, while Lavel Davis Jr. studied African American and African studies. D’Sean Perry had a double major in African American and African studies and studio art.
“It was a great honor to be a part of presenting these diplomas to the families of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean,” UVA athletic director Carla Williams said in a university news release, ESPN reported.
Rachel Most, UVA’s associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, requested the posthumous degrees in the students’ honor. She was the dean for all three in the College of Arts & Sciences.
UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. allegedly shot and killed the Cavaliers football players on Nov. 13 as they were traveling back on a charter bus from a class trip to Washington, D.C.
Jones, who is being held without bond at a jail in Charlottesville, is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and using a firearm while committing a felony.
He also faces two counts of intentionally causing bodily harm and additional gun-related charges for the shootings of UVA running back Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan, who both survived the incident.
Hollins is due to receive his undergraduate degree this month.
Funeral services for Chandler, Davis and Perry took place in their respective hometowns. Williams and other officials from the athletic department — along with the entire UVA football team, university president Jim Ryan and a range of university staffers — attended each one.
According to UVA Today, Williams claimed that after speaking with Davis’ family at his funeral service in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Nov. 30, it was clear “why earning his degree from the University of Virginia was so important to Lavel.”
The student-athletes, who were all juniors, were praised by their head coach, Tony Elliot, as “incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures,” theGrio previously reported.
“They touched us, inspired us,” he said, “and worked incredibly hard.”
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