WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University will unveil and dedicate the Tyler Trent Student Gate at Ross-Ade Stadium on Sept. 7 prior to the Boilermakers’ home-opening football game against Vanderbilt.
The Tyler Trent Student Gate replaces Gate E on the east side of Ross-Ade. It features gold lettering and the moniker “T2,” Trent’s signature mark. Below, on Ross-Ade’s brick façade, two plaques will display Trent’s image and chronicle his remarkable story.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will include comments from Purdue board of trustees chair Mike Berghoff, president Mitch Daniels, head football coach Jeff Brohm and Tyler’s parents, Tony and Kelly. Purdue cheerleaders and members of the “All-American” Marching Band will attend.
Following the ceremony, the Trent family will be the first to enter Ross-Ade through the gate. They will be joined by Purdue students Josh Seals, who camped out with Trent prior to the Purdue-Michigan game in 2017, and Sean English, who in March was selected as the first recipient of the Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award, a memorial scholarship in Trent’s name.
“Tyler showed the character and resiliency to which we all should aspire,” Daniels said when announcing plans for the gate and introducing the scholarship in March. “His message of hope and positivity resonated far beyond our campus; it truly touched the entire nation. His story is now a big part of the Purdue history, and this gate and scholarship will serve to preserve it forever.”
Trent was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 15 and died Jan. 1, 2019, at age 20. He founded Teens with a Cause, which recruits young people to perform service projects for families affected by cancer. At Purdue, Trent joined the Dance Marathon club, a student organization that raises funds and awareness for Riley Hospital for Children, where he received treatment. He also worked as a sports writer for the “Exponent,” Purdue’s student newspaper. He earned an associate degree in computer information technology.
As the first student member of the Director’s Advancement Board of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Trent helped raise cancer awareness with a younger audience.
Throughout his battle with cancer, Trent remained a Boilermaker super fan and was named an honorary football team captain. He predicted Purdue’s 49-20 upset over No. 2- ranked Ohio State on Oct. 20, 2018, sending the hashtag #TylerStrong soaring in popularity on social media. He received the Disney Spirit Award as college football’s most inspirational figure in December of 2018. The Trent family received the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award at the 2019 Sports Humanitarian Awards in July of 2019.
The date of the dedication would have been Trent’s 21st birthday.
Berghoff, founder and president of Lenex Steel in Indianapolis, donated fabrication and the installation of the gate and plaques.
The ceremony will be covered live by the Purdue Athletics Facebook page.