A Bittersweet Homecoming

A Bittersweet Homecoming

As the one-year anniversary approaches, every OSU alumni and participant will take the time to remember those we lost one year ago to a heartbreaking tragedy.


Oklahoma State University’s homecoming is an event every Cowboy alum and student takes pride in being a part of. This event draws in more than 80,000 people to the city of Stillwater and causes more school pride and spirit than any other throughout the year. An event sororities and fraternities spend months planning and countless hours shoving tissue paper squares into chicken wire. The event bringing residential halls and campus organizations together in friendly competition and the occasion connecting years of OSU alum together with our current generation of students to enjoy and reminisce on the days gone by. An event so near and dear to every Orange bleeding heart is one that should never have to end in tragedy. However, this year’s homecoming marks the first anniversary of the day that shattered the hearts of every member of the OSU family. The day tragedy struck on what was meant to be the happiest day of the year and our hearts cried out for the four lives our family lost that fateful day.

I am not writing this article to bring up a debate on what the fate of the woman behind the accident should face or to open up old wounds and depress the mood of our celebration this year. I write this article for the families of those four victims as someone who has lost and overcome and knows the warmth a few kind words and acknowledgment can bring. Although I personally did not lose a friend or family member that fateful day, the tragedy hits too close to home and the thought of how easily it could have been myself or a peer or a family member visiting for the weekend. Everyone always says Oklahoma State is special- that our campus is family. And as a senior, I am here to tell you how accurate that statement is. We are a family. We love as one, we feel tragedy and loss as one, and we overcome and support one another as one. This is what I am here to remind us all of. That we are not alone when tragedy strikes and we have overcome tragedy time and time again. Each time, we get through these tragedies with the help of the Cowboy standing next to each of us. So to the families who lost a loved one or was affected by last year’s homecoming, remember you are not alone. We have not forgotten what your family has suffered and the heartbreak you feel each and every day. We are here for you and we are a family.

To the family of, Nikita Prabhaker Nakal, I am so sorry for your loss. It saddens me to realize how hard it was to hear the news of your daughter on what was supposed to be an amazing adventure while courageously studying abroad, thousands of miles away from home. Your daughter must have been an amazing young woman who set no limits to what she was capable of and loved experiencing new excitements and meeting new people. I did not know her, but I wish I could have.

To the family of Marvin Lyle and Bonnie Jean Stone, I extend my greatest apologies. I did not know either of them, but as a current student of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, my heart aches for the professors I have become close to as I know they must have been great friends with Marvin and his wife, Bonnie, during his time as a faculty member. I wish I would have had the pleasure of learning from him and meeting Bonnie as I have heard great things from the faculty I am being advised by about them both as the inseparable and dedicated couple they were. They both have truly left their mark on our university.

To the family of little Nash Lucas, my heart reaches out to you. Losing any loved one is hard, but it is extremely difficult to try and understand why a life must be taken before it has even had the chance to experience the joys life brings. I am so sorry for the loss of your little boy, but I hope it brings you comfort to know he is not forgotten and I am positive he is in heaven eating all the candy he can imagine and filling the ears of the angels with joyous laughter and glee. His smile seems to be one so contagious you can not help but smile back at and I wish I had been one to experience such a happy individual. Your son will not be forgotten.

As we all come together and celebrate America’s Greatest Homecoming of 2017, take pride in coming from a university that stands united as one. Enjoy the festivities and carnivals and the smiles placed on everyone’s faces and the awe stuck in the eyes of newcomers. Reminisce on the memories OSU has brought to you and your family and celebrate the joy in our Pokes and rejoice in our unity. Through and through, our Cowboys stay strong and also never forget our family’s fallen four.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments