University of Rochester

University Community Commemorates Pilot's Actions in Crash Last Fall

October 29, 2003

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Rochester will commemorate the actions of Richard Coleman with a brief tree planting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, near the field where the pilot crashed last year.

Coleman died when his single-engine plane crashed near student housing on Kendrick Road while he was trying to make an emergency landing at Greater Rochester International Airport on Nov. 14. The father of four is credited with having taken action to avoid the residence halls, Strong Memorial Hospital, and a parking lot busy with drivers leaving for the day.

A red oak will be planted adjacent to de Kiewiet Tower Residence Hall. A plaque in front of the tree will read, "In grateful memory of Richard Coleman, whose courageous actions saved many others."

The ceremony will include a welcome by seniors Karen Taylor and Jennifer Gertman, who are Interfaith fellows working on programs sponsored by the Interfaith Chapel. Erin McCrossan, who is a resident advisor in the dormitories at the site and witnessed the crash, will share some brief thoughts. Prayers will be offered by Rev. Brian Cool, Catholic chaplain.

The ceremony is being sponsored by the Interfaith Chapel at the College.