Despite freezing tempratures and brisk winds, hundreds of members of the Purdue University community gathered outside Hovde Hall Wednesday night to pay tribute to Tyler Trent, a Purdue student who passed away from a rare form of bone cancer on January 1. He was just 20 years old.
"Tyler Trent became a symbol and insparation to eveyone in the Purdue family, and to millions elsewhere," Purdue President Mitch Daniels told the crowd.
Many Purdue students and fans became aware of Trent in 2017 when he was seen camping out outside of Ross-Ade Stadium long before Purdue faced Michigan. It was there that Head Coach Jeff Brohm came out to personally meet him, which eventually led to Trent being named an honorary captain.
He would go on to become a fixture in the locker room, and in the hearts of many of the players. One of them, quarterback Elijah Sindelar, who spoke on behalf of the football team at the service, saying Trent showed them all "what it meant to be a Boilermaker".
Trent came to national prominence during the football team's upset win over then-#2 Ohio State on October 20, regularly being shown on camera as a primetime audience was told his story.