Weekend Events to Remember Tragedy, Look Ahead to New Season

September 6, 2023 By Mike Mather, mike.mather@virginia.edu Mike Mather, mike.mather@virginia.edu

On Saturday, the University of Virginia and James Madison University football teams will face off in the two schools’ first meeting in 40 years. As they get ready to take the field in the Cavaliers’ home opener, the University is preparing multiple events to remember the tragedy that took place on Grounds last November and to bring the community together as this year’s season begins.

The first event will take place on Friday at 3 p.m. on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds on Culbreth Road between Ruffin Hall and the Drama Education building. UVA leaders, athletes and community members will gather for a memorial tree planting and plaque dedication honoring Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr. The student-athletes were killed by a gunman on Grounds last fall. Also recognized in the ceremony will be Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan, who were wounded in the attack. Chandler, Perry and Davis were all UVA football players, as is Hollins.

They, along with other classmates, were on a bus Nov. 13 that had just returned to Grounds from a field trip to Washington when another student began shooting. He was later arrested.

UVA President Jim Ryan will speak at the memorial, along with Athletics Director Carla Williams and Rector Robert Hardie. The event will be streamed live. A remote viewing area will be set up in Campbell Hall rooms 158 and 160. If it rains, the memorial will still take place outside, but the reception will be moved to the lobby of the Drama Education building. For severe weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Culbreth Theatre with overflow seating in the Helms Theatre. The reception will remain in the drama building lobby.

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Just hours after the tree planting on Friday, the University’s marching band will lead a “Paint the Town Orange” pep rally on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall starting at 8:30 p.m. that will include an appearance by the UVA football team.

On Saturday at 9:45 a.m., family members of the victims are scheduled to join the UVA football team on the Wahoo Walk when fans flank the Cavaliers as the players head into the southeast entrance of Scott Stadium.

Also on Saturday, UVA Athletics is organizing a student tailgate at Observatory Hill.

Following the morning’s events, the gates at Scott Stadium will open at 10:30 a.m. to allow fans time to get seated before a special pregame ceremony that will take place on the field at 11:30.

The first 35,000 fans entering Scott Stadium will receive UVA Strong shirts, and all fans are encouraged to wear orange. The north end zone will feature a UVA Strong logo along with the names and numbers of Chandler, Davis and Perry. The tribute will remain in place for the duration of the season.

This season, the Cavalier jerseys 1, 15 and 41 will bear legacy patches honoring Davis, Chandler and Perry, respectively. As Tennessee did in last week’s game, James Madison University’s helmets will feature stickers honoring the players.

The game, the 500th played in Scott Stadium, will be broadcast on ESPNU.

On the upcoming anniversary of the Nov. 13 tragedy, members of the University community will observe a moment of silence and a tolling of the UVA Chapel bells.

Students, faculty and staff affected by the tragedy are encouraged reach out for help. Students should contact Counseling & Psychological Services while faculty and staff should contact the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program.

Media Contact

Mike Mather

Managing Editor University Communications