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Peyton Manning Speaks at UVA's Valedictory Exercises - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Peyton Manning Speaks at UVA's Valedictory Exercises

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Peyton Manning Peyton Manning
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - More than 6,300 University of Virginia students are preparing to walk the lawn Sunday to pick up their diplomas.

Saturday, they got to celebrate their achievement at valedictory exercises with five time MVP NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

"When you're chided for your naiveté, and you will be, remind your critics that an amateur built the arc, experts built the titanic." Manning stated.

Valedictory speaker Peyton manning offered soon to be graduates at the University of Virginia some sound advice Saturday morning as they prepare to head out into the world.

Manning's wife graduated from UVA in 1997 and the Denver Broncos quarterback recounted spending time with her in Charlottesville.

"One regret that I've always had here is that I never got to throw any football passes here on this lawn." said Manning.

So Manning threw three passes, and as usual, all completions.

Other speakers included the co-chairs of the class giving committee who presented university president Teresa Sullivan with a check for $168,686 from the class of 2014.

It's the biggest student body gift to date.

This year, the class gift will benefit a wide range of programs and institutions including seven schools: the college of arts and sciences, engineering, commerce, education, architecture, nursing, and the batten school." Sullivan said.

The 2014 class president, Brandon Moores, also offered words of encouragement to his peers.

“When asked are you ready to graduate, all of us, by attending this institution, are absolutely ready." said Moores.

Manning summed up what most students are feeling about their upcoming graduation, comparing it to crossing the San Andreas fault.

"As you reach out for your diploma, envision standing on one side of the ridge that literally runs north and south for more than 800 miles. Once you leap to the other side, nothing will be quite the same." Manning said.

Students and guests heard from a dozen speakers during Saturday's ceremony, which lasted more than an hour.

Final exercises for the class of 2014 begin Sunday at 10 o’clock in the morning on the university lawn.

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