The Trent family speaks at the Tyler Trent Student Gate dedication ceremony on September 7. Purdue President Mitch Daniels speaks at the Tyler Trent Student Gate dedication ceremony on September 7. Tyler Trent's story engraved on a plaque. Tyler Trent Memorial Gate Tyler Trent's image on a plaque.

Indiana, and soon after, the nation, became captivated with Tyler Trent in late 2017. A freshman at Purdue University, Tyler bled Old Gold and Black with unwavering support for the Boilermakers.  

Tyler discovered in 2014 that he had osteosarcoma, a cancer diagnosed to approximately 900 people per year. His tumor was removed, and he was declared cancer-free. However, Tyler found once again that he was in the battle of his life right before the start of his college journey. 

Throughout his time at Purdue, Tyler attended many sporting events spreading cheer. His courage and positive outlook in the face of adversity inspired hope among millions. The country came to cherish this brave student, with his story covered on a variety of networks, including multiple stories on ESPN. The highlight of the 2018 football season came when Purdue upset The Ohio State University.  

Tyler passed on January 1, 2019, almost two years after his diagnosis. In memory of his spirit, Purdue commissioned The Tyler Trent “T2” Memorial Gate. Unveiled September 7, the gate sits high above the student entrance at Ross-Ade Stadium. It is a symbolic remembrance of Tyler Trent and the love he had as a student at Purdue University. A plaque featuring a portrait of Tyler hangs on one of the columns to the entrance. Students began a tradition of touching the plaque to give Tyler a high-five before entering the stadium.

At least two Purdue University graduates from Shiel Sexton, Senior Project Manager Tyrone Garrison and Project Engineer Sam Larabee, assisted the creation of the special monument. Shiel Sexton managed the entire construction of the project – coordinating subcontractors and the schedule and performing quality control. Shiel Sexton Concrete donated materials and put it in place. Garrison commented, “It was powerful to be a part of the erection. To see the Purdue community and contractor community work together to make this happen in a short time frame was incredibly impactful.”

The project only took about six weeks to complete. All work was in kind with a value of over $100,000. Through this gateway, Tyler’s legacy at Purdue will live on. This memorial inspirits that in all students, alumni, and the community.

The SCOOP | December 2019 | More from this issue