“This Memorial Day weekend we’d also like to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of college graduates who may be better prepared for real life than those before them,” Brennan said in introducing the story. She added, “The tragedy, UVA’s President Ryan said, on top of COVID, brought more life lessons than could be taught in any classroom.”
The story on the top-ranked Sunday public-affairs show featured this portion of Ryan’s address: “You rose to those challenges with grace and courage. You masked when it mattered, and even when it didn’t, because you cared about this community above all else. And when tragedy struck last November, you organized and attended a silent vigil that brought this community together in profound and powerful ways.”
While Williams also spoke of how overwhelming it was to navigate the deaths of Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr., Brennan noted that the athletics director’s words also served as encouragement for graduates across the country.
Brennan used this Williams passage to conclude the story: “You are bright and shining examples of the best we have to offer. We need your courageous spirit. We need your innovation. We need your creativity. We need your stubbornness. We need your toughness, your brilliance, your grit. And we need your compassion. We need each of you and we need all of you.”