After the Rolling Stone controversy and the resulting lawsuits, administrators at UVA must be relieved.

T. Rees Shapiro of the Washington Post reports.

A tumultuous year for U-Va. comes to a close, with sighs of relief

CHARLOTTESVILLE — At the University of Virginia’s commencement exercises, graduates of the Class of 2015 received their diplomas, took pause to revel in the moment and then let out a collective sigh of relief.

The cap-and-gown ceremonies represented an emotional coda for the students, who finished their time at the elite public flagship university with a year of grief, trauma and turmoil, all while the campus was thrust into the national media spotlight.

Their last nine months at U-Va. began with the September disappearance of sophomore Hannah Graham, and the ensuing search for the 18-year-old turned into an anxious discussion about underage drinking and campus safety. Graham’s body was found in October on an abandoned property in Albemarle County, turning worry into mourning.

Just weeks later, as normalcy was beginning to return, Rolling Stone magazine published an explosive account of a brutal fraternity gang rape on campus. The article — which alleged a culture of systemic denial and coverups of sexual assaults — led advocacy groups and protesters to assail the campus as a “rape school.” Although later discredited, the story upended the campus Greek system, which signed on to new safety rules, and led to soul-searching about U-Va.’s treatment of women.

Then, in March, amid nationwide focus on race relations and police use of force, a 20-year-old African American student was bloodied in an encounter with white state Alcoholic Beverage Control officers outside a bar. Images of the student, a member of the school’s honor board, with an officer pinning him to the sidewalk spread across the Internet and led to campus protests and vigils, arousing racial tensions at the Southern school.