Photos borrowed from Georgia Southern University.
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
We are a family who loves nurses. My daughter is a nurse. My niece is a nurse, as is my nephew’s wife. Two of my best friends are nurses and several women whom I claim as friends. When Malorie was in nursing school and then nurse anesthesia school, we met so many of her friends and fellow students, and even hosted them during parts of their clinical rotations.
Here is what I know about nurses: they are kind. Nurses have an innate sense of caring, of doing for others. They are compassionate. Nurses listen intently and their empathy for other people seems limitless. They are smart. Nurses spend years learning to be the best they can in their profession. Their curriculum is challenging and they must be focused and determined to succeed.
We are also a family who loves Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. My son, daughter-in-law, and oldest nephew are GSU alums. My youngest godson is currently a GSU student. Brian and Caroline met there and are now married.
Yesterday, five young nursing students from Georgia Southern University were killed in a car crash in the early morning hours while traveling down I-16 from Statesboro to their clinical site in Savannah. We have spent many hours in Statesboro and Savannah, and traveled that lonely stretch of I-16 more times than I can count. That drive will never be the same for any Georgia Southern student or alum—maybe not for any Georgian at all, because we will never drive that road without remembering these precious young ladies.
Today we are all Eagles. Hold on to that love. Hold on to that support, Eagle Nation. Hold on to each other.
– Dr. Brooks Keel, GSU President
What do you say at a time like this? As a parent, what do you say to your grieving child? What do you say to the friends of those girls? The boyfriends? I’m sorry for your loss seems so inadequate to cover the depth of feelings from a tragedy of this magnitude. While none of us knew these girls personally, we are all mourning their loss because it has hit so close to home. This morning, as I began going about my day, all I could think was that five moms were facing the unthinkable. As a mother, my heart wept for them and is weeping still.
I have no words of wisdom, no platitudes, no entreaties to live each day to the fullest. Because there are no words. Like everyone else, I am heartbroken for these families and the friends who knew and loved these girls. And I am saddened that the world has lost five remarkable young individuals who, by virtue of their chosen path in life, would have touched, healed, and impacted many, many lives. The greatest irony is that instead of years spent as healers and caregivers, it is their tragic deaths which are now impacting so many lives.
Please keep the Georgia Southern Eagle Nation in your prayers. Please especially keep the families of Emily Clark, Morgan Bass, Abbie Deloach, McKay Pittman, and Caitlyn Bagget in your prayers. And if you feel so compelled, consider a donation to the Georgia Southern School of Nursing Students’ Memorial Fund, which has been established to honor these five young women.
“…Georgia Southern is the greatest university in America…not for its sports or academic prowess…but because of its people. Eagle Nation is a family.”
Dr. Keel, speaking at the memorial vigil