Purdue to build memorial gate to honor fan Trent

Purdue will add a gate outside the entrance to the student section at Ross-Ade Stadium to honor Tyler Trent, a student described as a “superfan” who passed away on Jan. 1.

Accompanied by Trent’s parents, campus President Mitch Daniels said in a campus ceremony that the gate will be built before the 2019 football season opens. It will have Purdue-gold lettering and bear the logo “T2.” A plaque with his image and the words “Forever Our Captain” will be hung on the gate.

The entrance is where an ill Trent camped out with a friend for tickets to the 2017 game against Michigan and first met Purdue coach Jeff Brohm.

“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,” president Mitch Daniels said during a ceremony Wednesday to unveil the memorial. “[He] personified the characteristics we want every Boilermaker, in some measure, to embody.”

Trent, 20, died of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. His fight against the disease inspired the Boilermakers football team and countless others.

As the team learned of his illness last fall, he was welcomed into their brotherhood. He was Purdue’s honorary captain when the team defeated Indiana in November.

He repeated his duties as honorary captain in December when the Boilermakers lost to Auburn in the Music City Bowl. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay provided the plane to fly the Trent family to Nashville, Tenn.

Trent decided to use his final months to raise money for cancer research. The Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment had taken in more than $1 million for the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research by late January.