“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."
Let it never be so that we forget the brothers who lined up alongside us, shoulder to shoulder, during our years at the University.
Below are members of the Virginia Football Family who have passed, but whose memories and legacies on and off the field carry on in perpetuity thanks to the generous gifts made by former teammates on their behalf. These gifts also help ensure that no teammate, coach, manager, trainer, or friend is ever forgotten.
Scroll below for more information on this program.
1946 - 2000
E. Paul Rogers '68
OL | Atlanta, GA
Given in memory, by Chip Mark '79.
1958 - 2008
Al Alvarez '79
OL | Colonia, NJ
Given in memory, by his teammates.
Kevin Bowie '79
LB | Plainfield, NJ
Given in memory, by his teammates.
1956 - 2017
Leigh Drewry '79
MANAGER | South Hill, VA
Given in memory for his devotion, by a friend.
- Aspirationally, it's a way for us to honor our collective history and to remember those who helped shape Virginia Football.
- Tangibly, it's an avenue for alums to make financial contributions in memory of a deceased teammate, coach, manager, staff or friend of the program.
- It's origin is three-fold:
- An alum stepped forth in Winter 2019 and presented the idea. He felt strongly about honoring in some way past teammates, coaches, and friends of the program and also our collective Virginia football history.
- As a Club, we were then quick to recognize that there wasn't a proper vehicle in place thru which to honor the deceased, nor did we have a reliable way to know when folks pass. Some of these updates eventually get to us, but far too many stay within a small circle or slip thru the cracks entirely and go unnoticed.
- In the last twelve months alone we lost at least eight family members that we know of, ranging from a Hall of Fame coach to a 2015 grad. As a group that genuinely believes in and seeks to nurture our common bonds, it was easy to see that this was an area where we were falling short.
- Additionally, this initiative reaches every single alum, regardless of age, location, vocation, etc., and does so on both sides of the coin. Meaning, someone will pass, and someone(s) else will pay their respects accordingly.
Is this taking advantage of the deceased?
- Fair question, but no, we don't see it that way. A "memorial fund" isn't a novel concept, nor is attempting to properly honor those you care about. This current format may not be the best solution nor the long-term solution, but if nothing else, it's a starting point to address a reality that we historically haven't responded thoughtfully or consistently towards.
How do these funds get used?
- Funds can be designated by the Donor for a variety of purposes. Unless otherwise specified, funds will be separately earmarked and used to pay our respects to surviving family members of the Designee (and future teammates, regardless of whether or not a Donor has stepped forth) thru cards, flowers, etc. as appropriate.
- By designating funds for this purpose, we (a) create a measure of internal accountability to act when Family members pass away, and (b) ensure that we can do so properly, as this trend unfortunately won't stop anytime soon.
- Just as we have funded our Thursday's Heroes support and annual Senior Dinner thru mechanisms separate from our annual operating fund, we're seeking to do likewise here so we can get this off the ground and ensure it's proper support.
Is that written in stone?
- No. This program is in its nascent stages and we are very much open to feedback.
Can Designees have multiple Donors?
Can Donors make a memorial gift annually?
Can I participate without making a gift?
- Yes. Here are a few ways:
- Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org if you learn of someone's passing so we can follow-up accordingly.
- Help us follow-up! This may look different case-by-case, but our general intent is to acknowledge the teammate thru a letter to the family. You can do this regardless of whether or not you knew the deceased.
- Send a note to email@example.com if you have a particular story or memory to share about any of the Designees. We will include it on this page.