Football Memorial rededication honors lives lost 50 years after plane crash

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Marshall University will hold its first in 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.

At 10 a.m., the university will rededicate the Marshall Football Memorial. 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 near the Marshall Rec Center on 20th Street.

Five brothers from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity died in the crash: Starting Quarterback Ted Shoebridge and Offensive Linemen Jim Adams, Mike Blake, Pat Norrell and Bob Patterson. John Bodo, a student and member of the fraternity at the time, designed the memorial to honor the five and Marshall graduate and former co-captain of the 1958-59 football team, Artist Vernon Howell created the sculpture and donated it to establish the memorial.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and a recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus and in local communities, members of the public who wish 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.)

Media are welcome to attend the rededication, but are asked to please wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance from other attendees.