Judson University sets memorial service for seniors killed last week

  • Members of the Judson University community created a memorial in honor of two seniors killed last week in a four-vehicle crash near the entrance to the Elgin campus.

    Members of the Judson University community created a memorial in honor of two seniors killed last week in a four-vehicle crash near the entrance to the Elgin campus. courtesy of Judson University

  • Dallas Colburn

    Dallas Colburn Courtesy of the Colburn family

  • Nathanael Madison

    Nathanael Madison Courtesy of the Madison family

Updated 4/27/2021 6:21 AM

Judson University announced a memorial service for two students killed last week in a four-vehicle crash.

The public memorial for seniors Dallas Colburn, of Plano, and Nathanael Madison, of Wernersville, Pennsylvania, will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 3, in Herrick Chapel on the Elgin campus, according to a university spokeswoman. Masks are required, and capacity is limited.


Colburn and Madison were killed April 20 when the car they were in was involved in a crash about 9:15 p.m. near a campus entrance at Judson Drive and State Street, authorities said. Two other Judson seniors in the car suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

The crash is under investigation, according to Elgin police.

All four students were architecture and interior design majors and were among 21 students in the department preparing to graduate next month, said Curtis Sartor, a professor of architecture and Judson's associate vice president for diversity and spiritual development.

Sartor doesn't consider the students' deaths as "their destiny being denied" but rather as "part of the legacy they're leaving behind."

The deaths had a major impact on the department, which numbers about 125 students, as well as the close-knit university in general, he said.

"We are a small community," Sartor said, adding that community has rallied around the graduating class and the architecture students and faculty.

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He described the young men as introspective, intellectual and particularly interested in serving their communities.

"They had the skill and talent to be good architects," Sartor said.

"They were still discovering their personalities and what drew them to architecture."

Colburn's interest in the field surfaced early, Sartor said, referencing the young man's childhood affinity for playing with Lincoln Logs.

Madison, a 2017 home-school graduate and the oldest of nine siblings, was to be married June 13, according to his obituary.

An architecture scholarship in honor of Colburn and Madison has been established at the university, and the American Institute of Architects' student chapter is considering naming a competition in their honor, said Sartor, who said he received calls from the AIA's national president and from the Chicago chapter expressing condolences on the university's loss.

The tragedy "did not catch God by surprise at all," Sartor said.

"This was not something we planned for. But we know that in the grand scheme of things, this is something that God allowed. There will be something good that will come out of this."


The Colburn family will hold a visitation for Dallas Colburn from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Herrick Chapel on Judson's campus.

The service will be Friday, April 30, at 10 a.m. in Herrick Chapel.

The visitation and service is open to friends, family and Judson community members.

The memorial service for Madison is Thursday, April 29, in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern time Thursday at Community Evangelical Church, 51 Green Valley Road, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time at the church.


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