Today, I am honored to share with you the first print edition of the 134th term. On the cover of this edition, you’ll likely recognize Beta Bridge, which for the past two months has stood as a testament to the lasting legacy of the lives of the three young men who were killed in the Nov. 13 shooting — Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler.
We return to a place which has been profoundly marked by this loss. My heart remains with the families, friends and the community members who were affected by their deaths, and with Marlee Morgan and Mike Hollins, who were injured in the shooting.
The last two months have been unimaginably difficult as the community grieves the lives of these three young men — we are not the same people that we were. There are sacred spaces on Grounds that will simply never be the same. I’ve been thinking about Lavel, D’Sean and Devin when I find myself walking familiar paths on Grounds, and I wanted to share a few of the words about them that stuck with me after the Nov. 19 memorial service.
Lavel was a third-year College student who friends called a “gentle giant.” My favorite anecdote was that Lavel, notoriously proud of his hometown of Ridgeville S.C., had a tattoo of his town’s highway exit number — “187” — on his arm. “He made it sound like the biggest city in the world,” second-year College student Elijah Gaines said. Teammates said he was known for his infectious smile and sense of humor, and as a role model for his siblings.
D’Sean was a fourth-year College student and a “renaissance man” — outside of football, he rapped, painted, played the piano and loved poetry and music. He was a studio art major, and he could make anybody laugh. D’Sean was a selfless and genuine mentor on the team, especially for younger teammates. “I wanted to be just like you,” first-year College student Will Bettridge said about D’Sean.
Devin was a second-year College student known fondly to his family as “Devin the dancing machine.” He was rarely without a smile on his face, and could make anyone feel loved — even someone he’d just met, on or off the football field. “Your joy for life was contagious,” second-year College student Cody Brown said. He was deeply committed to his sport.
Whether or not you were in John Paul Jones Arena for the memorial or not, I hope you can feel the overwhelming amount of love in these words and memories.
In the wake of such a loss and tear in the fabric of our University, The Cavalier Daily will continue to provide critical coverage of the University and Charlottesville community. We will print eight times this spring, and continue to work towards increasing our reach online. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for daily updates.
As the semester progresses, we welcome any feedback you have for us — you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your continued support of independent student journalism.
134th Editor-in-Chief of The Cavalier Daily