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45th Anniversary Services Planned for 1977 Plane Crash

Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2022

On December 13, 1977, a plane crashed at 7:22 p.m., just 90 seconds after takeoff. The event tragically took all 29 lives on board, including the University of Evansville (UE) men's basketball team, supporters of the Purple Aces, and the flight crew. To commemorate the 45th anniversary and remember these lives, UE has planned two services on Tuesday, December 13, that are open to the campus community and public.

A daytime service will be held at noon at Memorial Plaza on campus, located directly behind Olmsted Hall. The service will include an invocation and message by Reverend Andy Payton; bagpipes by Tad Dickel, PhD; and the reading of the names of those who tragically passed. Afterwards, a reception will be held in the Class of 1959 Gallery, located on the second floor of Ridgway University Center. Light refreshments will be served.

The evening service, which begins at 7:00 p.m., will be held inside Neu Chapel. Speakers for the evening include Reverend Cynthia Bumb '81, Curt Begle '99, and Mike Blake, sportscaster. A moment of silence will be observed at 7:22 p.m.

Ahead of the anniversary services, the public will be able to stream From the Ashes: The University of Evansville Purple Aces. The documentary, produced and directed by Joe Atkinson, assistant professor of communication, tells the story of the 1977 UE Men's Basketball team, the crash, and its aftermath. From the Ashes will premiere at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 12, at

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