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+Immortal Ten+ memorial seeks student donations from seniors

Sept. 13, 1996

'Immortal Ten' memorial seeks student donations from seniors

By Aaron Westmoreland

Lariat Reporter

A memorable moment in Baylor's history may eventually become a permanent fixture on campus.

A statue commemorating the Immortal Ten, a team of basketball players killed in an accident almost 70 years ago, is planned. The University classes of 1996 and 1997 are sponsoring a drive, along with the Alumni Association, to raise money for the statue.

According to University history, the story has been a tradition told to each freshman class and passed down for years. Ten members of the 1927 Baylor basketball team were killed in a bus-train collision in Round Rock while they were traveling to Austin to play the University of Texas.

One of the members, Jack Castellaw, also has the Castellaw Communications Center named after him.

University graduates have put together the idea of a statue as a concrete immortalization of the Immortal Ten. Chase Palmer, Charles Darwin and Brett Moyer, with help from Mark Rylander, coordinator for development in marketing of the Alumni Association, came up with the idea last year. They made their presentation to make the statue as senior gift during a senior class meeting and worked with the Baylor Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Ray Burchette Jr., president of the Alumni Association, said he made an immediate contribution after hearing the group speak.

'I thought the idea was great,' Burchette said, 'so I gave a contribution after the meeting.'

He said he had seen the proposal and the drawings before, but it was when the group spoke that he said he made his decision.

Palmer said students are encouraged to donate their $100 entrance deposit they sent as freshmen to the Student Foundation's Traditions Fund.

Palmer said the proposal is to put the statue in the Fountain Mall between Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium and the Morrison Constitution Hall.

A preliminary idea is to place in a circle 11 life-size statues, one for each member that died, with the 11th symbolizing Baylor Spirit. A plaque will be placed at the foot of the statues.

'We found an article in the 1927 Roundup where the peers of the 10 were quoted,' Palmer said. 'We felt it would be best to quote what they had to say about their classmates on the plaque.'

Palmer began the project last year when he was senior class president. Current senior class president Cole Martin has taken over the responsibilities. Martin works in conjunction with the Student Foundation, while Palmer, currently a law student at Morrison Constitution Hall, continues to contribute to the process.

'We have raised approximately $26,000 to date,' Martin said. 'Our goal is to reach $200,000.'

The Baylor Chamber of Commerce has been a major contributor, donating $5,000. The Student Foundation is currently working on a finalized plan to go before the Baylor Master Planning Committee and the Baylor Sculpture Committee. Planning is currently being made to incorporate the classes of 1998 and 1999.

In addition to preparing for campus acceptance, the Foundation has been working to get a foundation such as the Carnegie Foundation to match funding.

Some senior students said they would willingly contribute their deposit to the statue.

'I would definitely contribute my deposit towards the memorial,' said Steve Williams, a Katy senior. 'It is a strong Baylor tradition that will be recognized with the display.'

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