Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has unveiled plans for a permanent memorial to Tyler Trent. The university will erect a memorial gate leading to the student section entrance to Ross-Ade Stadium in Trent’s name prior to the start of the 2019 football season. A scholarship, known as the Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award, has also been established.
Trent was a Purdue graduate and superfan who gained national attention before passing away from cancer on New Year’s Day. At a news conference outside the student section entrance, Daniels said they received an outpouring of requests to honor Trent, something the university had already been planning on.
(the news conference starts at about 3:30)
"There will also be a plaque which will tell future generations who he was, why this gate bears his name and what he will always mean in Purdue history," said Daniels. "We hope this will be an appropriate way for generations of fans and non-fans for that matter to be reminded of what Tyler stood for, personified, characteristics that we really want every Boilermaker in some measure to embody."
The Tyler Trent Memorial Gate will feature gold lettering and the moniker "T2" in honor of Trent. The plaque will be located just to the left of the gate with Trent’s image and the words "Forever Our Captain." Mike Berghoff, chair of the Purdue Board of Trustees and founder and president of Lenex Steel in Indianapolis, will donate the fabrication and installation of the gate and plaque.
The Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award will be awarded to undergraduate students at the West Lafayette campus "who have encountered serious physical or similarly daunting adversity in their pursuit of higher education," according to Purdue. Daniels says it is a full tuition and room and board scholarship.
The first recipient of the award is Sean English, a freshman from Michigan who lost his leg after being hit by a car while he and his parents were helping the victims of another car accident on the side of a Detroit freeway. Before the accident, English had hoped to earn a track and field scholarship at Purdue.
"I’m stunned and honored to receive an award that bears Tyler’s name," English said in a news release. "Without this support and that of Purdue University over the past year, I would never have been able to achieve my dream of attending college, let alone an institution such as Purdue."
The scholarship is being funded through a combination of gifts.