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UVA football players killed in shooting receive posthumous degrees

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The three University of Virginia football players who were killed in a shooting on campus last month have been awarded posthumous degrees, university officials said.

D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler, and Lavel Davis Jr. were granted printed diplomas by The College of Arts & Sciences and the Office of the Provost, UVA Today reported Monday.

All three were gunned down when fellow student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. opened fire on a bus returning to Charlottesville after a field trip on Nov. 13.

Two other students were injured, and have since been released from the hospital.

The request for the fallen athletes’ degrees was initiated by Rachel Most, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, who was the dean for the three players.

From left, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry. All three were gunned down by a fellow UVA student on Nov. 13.
AP

The diplomas were delivered to Director of Athletics Carla Williams. Williams, along with University President Jim Ryan and other administrators, attended each player’s funeral.

Perry double-majored in studio art and African American and African studies, while Chandler majored in American studies and Davis studied African American and African studies. 

The players’ deaths evoked an outpouring of grief on campus. Shortly after the shooting, head football coach Tony Elliott remembered all three men as “good kids.”

Thousands attended a memorial service for the victims on Nov. 19.
Thousands attended a memorial service for the victims on Nov. 19.
USA TODAY Sports
UVA students and other onlookers bow their heads during the memorial service.
UVA students and other onlookers bow their heads during the memorial service.
USA TODAY Sports

In lieu of the Caveliers’ scheduled game against Coastal Carolina, thousands of people attended a memorial service for the victims at John Paul Jones Arena on Nov. 19.

Later, at Davis’ Nov. 20 funeral service in North Charleston, South Carolina, Williams said it was evident that earning a UVA degree was “so important to Lavel.”

Speaking to UVA Today this week, Williams said it was “a great honor to be a part of presenting these diplomas to the families of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean.”

The shooting took place as the bus, above, returned to the Charlottesville campus from a field trip.
The shooting took place as the bus, above, returned to the Charlottesville campus from a field trip.
AP

Meanwhile, fellow Cavaliers players and survivor Mike Hollins is on the road to recovery after being shot in the back and requiring surgery to repair his kidneys and small intestine. He hopes to return to the football field in honor of his deceased teammates.

“He’ll be fully recovered [soon],” Hollins’ dad Mike Hollins Sr. told The Athletic last month.

“He’s not going to stop playing football. It’s not in him. He’s not a quitter.”

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