Bus accident points in time


March 2. 2007

   

March 2007

 


March 12. 2007

March 07 1
Never forgotten –
In an instant, lives were forever changed, and a team and institution were catapulted into the spotlight. The night of the accident, the Bluffton campus community gathered for
a candlelight prayer vigil in Founders Hall. It was a time for reflection and mourning.


 

March 07 2A community comes together – The Kiva and Gallery Lounge were
transformed into a makeshift memorial a  items of sympathy and messages of support poured in from people across the world. Many items are preserved in the university archives.

 

March 07 3Memorial service –
Junior Ryan Baightel lights a candle on the Founders Hall stage during the March 12 memorial service. One lit candle was placed on the stage for each  person who died. Nearly 2,500 individuals attended the service.

         


April 2007

 


May 2007

 


jULY 2007

April 07 1
First game –
On March 30, in front of about 2,000 fans, the team took to the field to begin
a shortened season. The Beavers lost 10-5 against Mount St. Joseph but
scored one run each in memory of Zachary, David,Scott, Cody and Tyler.

 

May 07 1Major League Baseball
presents $50,000 to
Memorial Field Project

Joe Garagiola Jr., vice president of MLB
baseball operations at the time,  presented President Harder with a
$50,000 gift for the Memorial Field Project during the final home game of the 2007 season

 

July 07 1team connects through
baseball –

Over the course of the summer, the 2007 team was invited to visit the
Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers. The team also traveled to Omaha, Neb., to be recognized at the College World Series.

         


aUGUST 2007

 


dECEMBER 2007

 


March 2, 2008

August 07 1

Memorial Field
construction begins –

The campus memorial included three
components: The baseball diamond was
formally named Bluffton University Memorial Field, the Circle of Remembrance and Touching Home, a
sculpture by the late Gregg Luginbuhl,
professor of art.

 

Dec 07 1

Making “Touching Home” – Players made a handprint in the
sculpture by Luginbuhl. Five footprints, taken from the actual cleats of
Zachary, David, Scott, Cody and Tyler,
represent the impact they had at  Bluffton.

 

March 08 1

One year later –
On March 2, 2008, the Beavers played the opening game they were unable to play in 2007 against Eastern Mennonite University at Sarasota Christian High
School."We spent our week in Florida doing what we went down thereto do: play baseball," said Coach Grandey.

         


jANUARY 2010

 


fEBRUARY 2011

 


mARCH 2012

January 10 1

NCAA Inspiration Award –
The award is presented “to a coach, administrator or athlete who, when
confronted with a life-altering situation, showed perseverance, dedication and determination and now serves as a role model to give hope and inspiration to
others.”

 

February 11 1

Baseball Vs. Cancer – In six
years, the team has raised $50,000 for childhood cancer research by shaving
their heads. The tradition allows Bluffton baseball to give back to the
community, say thank you to those who responded in 2007 and pass blessings to
others in crisis.

 

March 12 1

Five-year remembrance –
More than 150 people gathered for the fifth anniversary of the accident. President Harder said the Circle of Remembrance “speaks profoundly to the many visitors, and now a new generation of Bluffton students, who are inspired by the story it conveys.”

         


fEBRUARY 2017

 


March 2, 2017

   

February 17 1

induction into the Bluffton Athletics Hall of Fame –
The entire 2007 team was recognized in their first year of eligibility for their remarkable courage and strength in responding to the March 2, 2007,  accident. Nearly 300 people were in
attendance during the Feb. 18 ceremony.

 

March 17 1

10-year memorial
Members of the campus community gathered to reflect, remember and move forward. Faculty and staff maintained a
continuous 12-hour presence at the Circle of Remembrance on March 2,
2017, starting at 5:30 a.m. (the approximate time of the accident).