50th anniversary of plane crash to be commemorated

This year, Nov. 14 marks 50 years since Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed with 75 Thundering Herd teammates, coaches, staff, supporters and flight crew members on board. Several events are planned to commemorate and honor those lives lost, but with added safety precautions amid the COVID-19 crisis.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m., the Marshall Football Memorial, designed by Vernon Howell, will be rededicated in a ceremony between the Marshall Rec Center and the Sorrell Maintenance Building on 20th Street in Huntington. The statue was originally dedicated in 1971 and housed at the Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) house on 5th Avenue. It was recently restored and relocated to the university’s Huntington campus. Due to safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony may be presented virtually. Please check www.marshall.edu/neverforget for details.

On Friday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse, Marshall will honor each student who perished in the crash with a posthumous degree in their program of study. A total of 39 degrees will be awarded, each dated with the student’s anticipated graduation date. Due to safety restrictions related to COVID-19 on indoor event capacity and seating regulations, this event is by invitation only and masks are required. The university’s videographer and photographer will serve as the media pool and video and photos will be made available upon the conclusion of the event. The posthumous degree ceremony will also be available for viewing virtually. Banners displaying photos of the 75 crash victims, their names and their connection to Marshall are now on display on and around the Memorial Student Center plaza.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m., the 50th annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony will be held on the plaza. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, attendance on the plaza is by invitation only and masks are required. A limited amount of overflow seating for other guests will be available on nearby Buskirk Field, offering a large screen for viewing the ceremony and socially distanced seating; masks are required. Some musical portions of the ceremony may be shown via video on the plaza, in an effort to keep the number of people contributing to the program in person to a minimum. Plexiglass will be installed in front of the stage to separate the speakers from those in attendance. The ceremony will also be available for viewing via live stream.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, at noon, the Marshall University football team will take on Middle Tennessee State University at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington. The 75 people who died in the crash will be honored in a variety of ways, including a moment of silence prior to kickoff.

Livestream information on the day of each event can be found on www.marshall.edu/neverforget.