The McPherson College campus has faced two tragedies in the last few weeks.
The McPherson College campus has faced two tragedies in the last few weeks. First, two former McPherson College students have been charged in the beating death of Tabor football player Brandon Brown, 26, of Southern California. Brown left behind two children and extended family to grieve him. As Brown languished in a Wichita intensive care unit, students on both the McPherson and Tabor campuses conducted prayer vigils for the injured student. The two students who were arrested in connection with Brown’s murder were swiftly suspended from school. McPherson College, its students, administration and athletics program have made it clear this incident was an act of individuals. It should not reflect on the entirety of the student body. As both campuses try to heal from this tragedy, the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference announced Thursday the upcoming McPherson College vs. Tabor College football game set for Oct. 20 will be canceled in honor and respect for Brown. This was a prudent decision by athletic officials. Canceling the game will allow more time for both campuses and communities to heal from this shocking death. The McPherson campus was rocked again when McPherson College student Paul Ziegler, 19, Elizabethtown, Pa., was struck and killed while he was riding his bicycle Sept. 23 in rural McPherson County. A high school student reached to pick up something he dropped and struck the McPherson College sophomore. The families of both these students have been crushed by the loss. Members of the Church of the Brethren, where Ziegler attended, created a prayer shawl. In a ceremony at the church, members laid hands on the shawl and prayed for peace and forgiveness for the driver of the car and his family. The shawl was then taken to the McPherson College campus where students were urged to also lay hands on the shawl and pray for peace and forgiveness for the driver and his family. The shawl will eventually be given to the boy who struck Ziegler. In the wake of great sadness for the McPherson College, Tabor College, the McPherson and Hillsboro communities, as well as all of the families touched by these tragedies, now is a time for healing. We all may not have a tangible object, such as a shawl to touch, but we still can have peace and forgiveness in our hearts.