Alina BigJohny traveled
to Italy and Greece for a January Session 2010 class.
Campus mourns loss of two
in State Fair stage collapse
Manchester College lost two young members of its community who were in the audience when the Sugarland concert stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 13.
Spring graduate Alina BigJohny ’11 died Aug. 19 of her injuries. Her best friend Jennifer Haskell, also in the Sugarland audience and a former MC student, died Aug. 19 in the hospital on the morning of Alina’s funeral. Manchester celebrated their lives with a service in Petersime Chapel on Sept. 6.
Alina, an education and English major, was consistently on the Dean’s List. She was excited about starting her first job, teaching English at Wilson Middle School in Muncie. “Ms. BigJohny had so much energy,” said Muncie Schools Supt. Tim Heller, who interviewed her for the teaching post. “She would have been one of Muncie Community School's greatest teachers." Alina’s funeral was Aug. 19 in her hometown of Fort Wayne.
She was involved in a wide range of College activities, including student recruitment, new student orientation and the College Dance Team. She also an award-winning writer for The Oak Leaves campus newspaper.
Jen Haskell attended Manchester from fall 2007 to spring 2009, majoring in fitness and sport management. She also was a former softball and basketball Spartan before transferring to Ball State University, where she would have been a senior this year. Her funeral was Aug. 26 in her hometown of Parker City, Ind.
Fort Wayne TV station IndianasNewsCenter came to campus to interview those who knew Alina and Jen. Click here to watch the video. Other links:
• Indianapolis Star story about Alina BigJohny
• The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) story about Jennifer Haskell
• Obituary for Alina BigJohny
• Obituary for Jennifer Haskell