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OSU mourns loss of coaches and alumni

             On Monday Oklahoma State University mourned the loss of four members of the Cowboy family, women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna and alumni Olin and Paula Branstetter.
               The four were killed when the single-engine Piper PA-28-180 they were traveling in crashed Thursday afternoon near Perryville, about 45 miles west of Little Rock, Ark. Olin Brandstetter was piloting the plan.
              The university commemorated the four at a ceremony in Gallagher-Iba Arena at 1 p.m.  The Student Government Association also hosted a candlelight vigil in the Student Union Ballroom at 8 p.m.   Four wreaths were hung on Chio clock to remember the four lives lost.
                  Thousands of alumni, students, staff and faculty attended the afternoon ceremony.  Also among the crowd were former women’s OSU players, as well as, the current OU women’s basketball team and its head coach Sherry Cole.  Other coaches and players from the Big 12 were all in attendance, such as Baylor’s Kim Mulkey and Texas A&M’s Gary Blair.
                President Hargis ended the ceremony with a message of hope for the OSU family.
               “The holes in our hearts today are just as empty as those 10 years ago,” Hargis said.  “Nothing ever fills them up.  You never get over it; you just have to through it.”
               Hargis left the stage with a message particularly for the women’s basketball team, words he thought its coaches might say to them at a time like this.
               “We can’t be on the court with you,” he said.  “You’re going to have to do it yourself. And just before they’d turn and leave us, I bet they’d say, ‘We love you. And we believe in you.’

Stephanie Taylor is originally from Detroit, Michigan and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma with her parents when she was sixteen. Five years later, she is now a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in news-editorial with a minor in English. Her three passions are writing, fashion and music. Stephanie loves telling other peoples' stories and seeing her words come to life. In the future, she will be an editor in chief of a young women's magazine and a screenwriter. She currently holds the title of Miss Black OSU and volunteers with different organizations for young women and for mentally and physically disabled young adults. Stephanie has been accused of trying to save the world, which always makes her smile. In response to that, she says she just wants to do all she can with all she has in the time she has on the earth.
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