UVA Football Players Gunned Down In Cold-Blooded Campus Tragedy Awarded Posthumous Degrees

The three UVA students and football players who were slain last month in a shooting on campus have been awarded posthumous degrees. 

Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry will all be receiving degrees from the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Science they all attended. 

Slain UVA Students Get Posthumous Degrees

This was announced on Monday after Rachel Most, the school’s associate dean for undergraduate academic programs and the dean of UVA’s College of Arts & Science Department, requested that the three student-athletes receive their degrees following their tragic deaths, The Hill reports. 

Davis Jr., Chandler, and Perry were all killed returning from a class trip to Washington, D.C., to watch a play last month. When they arrived back to Virginia’s campus, suspect Christopher Darnel Jones Jr. reportedly opened fire on the school bus, killing the three students, injuring two others in the process. 

Who Were Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry?

Jones was a student at UVA, and a former football player for the team as well. The motive for why he committed this tragedy isn’t clear yet, but after a manhunt authorities captured and arrested him. He is being charged with three counts of second-degree murder, and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. 

UVA Shooter Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. Shot One Victim While He Slept, Prosecutors Tell Court

Degrees were printed out and shared with respective family members of each slain student, NBC News reports. School officials also attended their funerals.

UVA Athletic Director Carla Williams attended Lavel Davis Jr’s funeral service along with other school officials and members of the football team. She said in a statement that she was “honored” to be presenting these diplomas to the slain students. 

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

Lavel Davis Jr., a South Carolina native, was set to graduate in December before his life was tragically cut short. He played wide receiver and majored in African-American and African Studies. 

At his funeral, Williams spoke with Davis Jr.’s family, and she could quickly tell the significance of getting that degree for him. 

Devin Chandler, a second-year student who transferred from the University of Wisconsin, was also a wide receiver and majored in African-American and African Studies. After his death, Wisconsin Badgers interim head coach Jim Leonhard spoke on Chandler and what he meant to their program. 

“He had a lasting impact on his teammates, even after he left UW, which is a testament to the type of person he was,” Leonhard said per NBC News. 

D’Sean Perry was a fourth-year student who double-majored in Studio Art, and African-American and African studies. He played linebacker and recorded two tackles against Pitt just a day before his death. 

His parents, Sean and Happy Perry, spoke about their son and his passion for his friends and family that resonated through his life. “Football and art was his passion,” they said, “but the love that he had for his family, friends and his community was proven time and time again through his candid dedication.” 

It is clear what these individuals meant to a whole school and athletic program as well as their families. The losses are unfathomable and senseless. The posthumous degrees don’t heal the pain, but they show an effort by the university to help these families heal. 


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