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In Memoriam

“When youth dies for loyalty’s sake, the hallowed memory of love abides.” 

A marble tablet in the University of Virginia Chapel bears this inscription. It was given in honor of Archer Christian by his teammates following Christian's untimely death on November 13, 1909 of head trauma sustained in a game against Georgetown University. His passing would change the game forever. In a speech accepting the memorial on behalf of the University, President Edwin Alderman said the following: 

"In the name of the University of Virginia I accept with solemn pride this memorial tablet which his comrades and those who loved Archer Christian have cause to be set up in this quiet chapel. This tablet, I am glad to see, has distinction and beauty as a thing of art. The spectacle of the brooding, fostering figure of learning, guarding and guiding the way of dauntless and steadfast youth appeals to our imaginations and drives straight to our hearts. With tenderer and nobler symbolism, however, the tablet possesses the power to keep forever green and vivid in this dim religious spot the memory of a brave, pure-souled Virginia boy who died doing his duty eagerly in an honorable context in the service of his alma mater. Here Archer Christian shall dwell always in immortal youth, cherished by unnumbered generations of his kind who will read this inscription, absorb this symbolism and come to understand more clearly the beauty of clean living, loyal acting and whole-hearted self-forgetfulness. In this way may it please the dear God who rules and guides us all to transmute pain into gain and grievous loss into abounding and glorious victory."


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