Class of 2023’s Ability To Overcome Obstacles Featured on National News

May 30, 2023 By Mike Mather, Mike Mather,

CBS News’ “Face the Nation” host and University of Virginia alumna Margaret Brennan included her alma mater in a story Sunday on the hardships some members of the Class of 2023 faced on the way to graduation.

She shared with her audience of 2.3 million viewers portions of the commencement addresses of UVA President Jim Ryan and Director of Athletics Carla Williams, who commended the class for persevering through a pandemic and coming together as a community after an on-Grounds shooting Nov. 13 that left three of their peers dead and two others injured.

Related Story

“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.”

Media Contact

Mike Mather

Managing Editor University Communications