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University of Virginia approves posthumous degrees for slain football players

Jackson WLBT logo Jackson WLBT 12/7/2022 McGregor McCance

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WMC) - The University of Virginia (UVA) is honoring the three student-athletes who lost their lives in a shooting last month with posthumous degrees.

The College of Arts & Sciences departments where the students were studying, and the Office of the Provost, approved awarding the posthumous degrees to Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry.

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs Rachel Most, who served as dean for all three students in the college, initiated the request.

The printed degrees were delivered to Director of Athletics Carla Williams, who along with President Jim Ryan and others from UVA Athletics and the University, has attended each player’s hometown funeral.

Davis, a third-year student from Ridgeville, South Carolina, majored in African American and African studies.

Chandler, a second-year student from Huntersville, North Carolina, majored in American studies.

As a wide receiver, Chandler spent three years at Arlington High School before transferring to play his senior year in North Carolina.

Fourth-year Perry, of Miami, double majored in studio art and in African American and African studies.

D’sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler © Provided by Jackson WLBT D’sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler

Davis, Perry and Chandler, all members of the UVA football team, were killed on Nov. 13 aboard a chartered bus after returning to grounds from a field trip.

Two other students, Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan, were wounded in the shooting, and have since been released from the hospital following treatment.

Hollins also is among seven football players who are anticipated to complete the requirements for their undergraduate degrees in December.

The tragedy led to an outpouring of support – and grief – in the university community and far beyond.

At Davis’s funeral service on Nov. 30 in North Charleston, South Carolina, Williams said it became obvious in talking with Davis’s family “why earning his degree from the University of Virginia was so important to Lavel. He worked extremely hard for it.”

Williams on Monday said, “It was a great honor to be a part of presenting these diplomas to the families of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean.”

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