Stories in Art: The Eternal Flame

On Jan. 27, 1927, a group of 21 Baylor basketball players, coaches and fans were on their way to a game against the University of Texas in Austin. Heavy rain was pouring on the roads, inhibiting the bus driver’s vision. As the group entered Round Rock, Texas, they came upon a set of railroad tracks where they collided with a train from I&GA Railroad Company, killing 10 of the passengers.

This quickly became a very sobering sporting tragedy, causing Round Rock to build their first overpass and the remainder of the Baylor basketball season to be cancelled. The individuals killed in the accident are now known as the Immortal Ten.

Since the accident, the Immortal Ten are honored every year at Homecoming with a candlelight ceremony. At the Freshman Mass Meeting, the story is told and current Baylor students have the opportunity to remember and memorialize the students who lost their lives.

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Stanton Studios had the privilege of creating a sculpture in honor of the Immortal Ten that was unveiled at Baylor Homecoming 2015. We were asked to design and fabricate a stainless steel creation surrounding the flame that would represent the legacy left behind by those who lost their lives. The sculpture is six feet wide and 10 feet tall, and weighs over 1,600 pounds. It took a combined 300 hours to create and build alongside Nickell Metalsmiths.

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The center of the sculpture is shaped like a torch and has a propane burner inside that keeps the fire lit.

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Mr. Stanton testing out the flame that will burn in the middle of the sculpture.

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The Eternal Flame on display during Baylor Homecoming 2015.

Memorializing this incident has long-been an important part of the Baylor family, bringing together students and alumni to honor their fellow Bears and the legacy of unity they left behind. This sculpture represents the lives of the Immortal Ten and the memorial services in which a torch was passed from one student to another in remembrance. This gesture was inspired by the words of former Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks: “To you seniors of the past, of the present, of the future, I entrust the care of Baylor University. To you I hand the torch.”

We are honored to have been able to create something with such great significance to an institution and family of Baylor students, faculty and alumni. It is our passion to create quality art pieces that don’t just impress the eye, but tell stories with deeper meaning. In this case, we got to commemorate a tragedy that forged an even greater unity within Baylor University.

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Are you interested in working with us to create a custom art piece that tells your story? Visit our portfolio to see what we’ve done in the past, and contact us.

Information for this blog post was found on the Baylor Athletics and Alumni Magazine pages.

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