50th anniversary plans updated with new safety precautions in place due to COVID-19

In light of the ongoing pandemic and a recent increase in the number of  COVID-19 cases on campus and in local communities, strict safety precautions—including limiting the numbers of people who can attend in person—have been put in place for a series of commemorative events to honor the lives lost in the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash. This year marks 50 years since Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed with 75 Thundering Herd teammates, coaches, staff, supporters and flight crew members on board.

Information about the commemorative events and how the public can participate virtually is as follows:

Marshall Football Memorial Rededication

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. the university will rededicate the Marshall Football Memorial, which was designed by John Bodo and created by Vernon Howell. The statue, originally dedicated in 1971 in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) house on 5th Ave., has been restored and relocated to the university’s Huntington campus. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and a larger-than-anticipated response, this ceremony will now be presented online only.

  • Viewing Information:  Members of the public who want to attend the ceremony are asked to do so virtually by clicking the link at livestream.com/marshallu at 11 a.m. (Note that the virtual event starts an hour after the live rededication ceremony begins. Technical restrictions prevent a live broadcast.)

Posthumous Degree Ceremony

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 COVID-19 safety restrictions on indoor event capacity and seating regulations, this event is by invitation only to family members and masks and physical distancing are required.

  • Viewing Information:  Members of the public who want to attend the ceremony are asked to do so virtually by clicking the link at livestream.com/marshallu at 4 p.m.

Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony

On Saturday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m., the annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony will be held on the plaza of the Memorial Student Center. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, attendance is by invitation only and masks and physical distancing are required.

  • Viewing Information: Members of the public who want to attend the ceremony are asked to do so virtually by clicking on the link at livestream.com/marshallu at 9 a.m.

Football Game vs. Middle Tennessee State

On Saturday, Nov. 14, at noon, the Marshall University football team will take on Middle Tennessee State University at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The 75 people who died in the plane crash will be honored at the game in a variety of ways, including a moment of silence prior to kickoff. Strict COVID-19 regulations regarding reduced crowd size, wearing masks and physical distancing will be observed. For ticket information, visit www.herdzone.com or call 1-800-THE-HERD.

Details about commemorative events, including links to virtual events, are available at www.marshall.edu/neverforget. Given the unpredictability of the pandemic and changing public health guidelines, please monitor the website and the university’s official social media accounts for any last-minute updates.