Matthew McConaughey Pays Tribute to Marshall University on 50th Anniversary of Tragic Crash

by Kayla Zadel

Matthew McConaughey is a true college football fan and is remember the tragic event that took so many lives half a decade ago.

He remembers the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that claimed the lives of 75 Marshall football players, staff members, and boosters. He’s sharing a message with his followers on Twitter.

McConaughey writes, “50 years. Never forget. Never defeated. We Are Marshall. To join the Memorial Fountain Ceremony go to @marshallu

Matthew McConaughey and Marshall University

Matthew McConaughey stars in the movie, “We Are Marshall.” The movie depicts the terrible plane crash and the rebuilding of the football program at Marshall University. It especially follows the football program and even McConaughey’s efforts to heal a grieving community.

As a matter of fact, McConaughey takes on the role of replacement head coach, Jack Lengyel. A role, as imagined, was not as easy as some of his more lighthearted characters.

About the Memorial Foundation

Every November 14, the Marshall community holds a ceremony for those that were lost. The event takes place at Marshall University’s Memorial Fountain at noon to pay their respects every year.

President of Marshall University, Jerome Gilbert reflects on the tragedy with a statement on the University’s website.

“We may have accepted the tragedy of the event and have, in many ways, come to peace with the pain. But we have not forgotten. Our Marshall family continue to be strengthened by the lasting memory. We recognize that the resilience of this community and this university has triumphed over enormous loss. We have persevered together and have grown stronger because of it,” Gilbert’s statement reads on the memorial page.

He continues with the ceremony defines the university, and also reminds them to find strength in love. Gilbert says this love comes from the loss of the 75 lives, the love for each other, and the love of Marshall University.

Moreover, the ritual ends with the signing of the school song. He ends with, “We are united as a Marshall family each Nov. 14 and always.”

President Nixon Sends His Condolences

The tragic plane crash that took 75 lives 50 years ago on Nov. 14 was the largest athletic loss of life in a single incident. The event garnered national attention, and even that of President Nixon.

He offered his respects in a telegram sent to Marshall University soon after the tragedy. It starts out with offering condolences, “Mrs. Nixon and I want to express our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims in the tragic air crash.”

Additionally, President Nixon continues to say that he and his wife will pray for community.