Colleges Remember 9/11 Alumni With Scholarships, Memorials

Across the United States, colleges and universities are observing the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with honors, memorials and events to remember alumni.

Colleges Remember 9/11 Alumni With Scholarships, MemorialsTrees have sprouted, plaques have been mounted and scholarships established by colleges and universities in memory of their alumni who died on September 11, 2001.

In addition, colleges are planning remembrance events for the 10th anniversary.  One of more unusual will be “The Gathering” at the University of Denver which will celebrate a “tolerance picnic” that was held 15 days after 9-11-2001.  Concerned that restaurants in Denver serving middle-eastern food were seeing a large drop off in customers after 9-11, then-Chancellor Dan Ritchie held an outdoor picnic catered by nine Denver middle-restaurants.  This year, on September 12, the University of Denver will close all dining halls for lunch and will have one big group meal catered by nine restaurants specializing in middle-eastern food to mark the 10th anniversary of that event and to promote understanding and unity.  The nearby Iliff School of Theology and the University Park Methodist Church are co-sponsors.

At Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, which lost two alumni in the attacks – Colleen Supinski ’96 and Chris Vialonga ’93 — the University erected and dedicated a memorial to them in October 2002.  Susquehanna has obtained a 124-pound piece of debris from the World Trade Center and will add it to the memorial during a rededication ceremony that is being planned for September 11, 2011.

The Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester dedicated a plaza in honor of two alumni, Jeffrey R. Smith and Zhe “Zack” Zeng.  Smith worked for Sandler O’Neill on the 83rd floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York.  Zeng was an EMT who grabbed some supplies from his office at the Bank of New York and headed toward the World Trade Center after the first tower collapsed.  Zeng was filmed by a TV crew, still in his business suit, administering first aid to a woman on a stretcher.  Then the second tower fell.   Six Rochester alumni died in the attacks that day.  They will be remembered in a story in the university’s alumni magazine.

A tulip tree, also known as a yellow poplar, stands near the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in memory of 1996 law school graduate Mari-Rae Sopper, a passenger on Flight 77 that struck the Pentagon.  Three University of Denver alumni died on 9-11.

At Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, an alumnus who died at the World Trade Center, and who had a passion for golf, is honored with a golf tournament.  Held annually since 2002, the tournament has raised more than $150,000 in funds for the Matthew T. McDermott Endowed Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to one or two seniors of the men’s or women’s golf teams who have shown leadership on and off the golf course.  Each year Matthew’s widow, Sue, and their three children, Kara, Kelly and Matthew Jr., come to Florida from New Jersey to participate in the tournament.

The Sigma Chi House at Roanoke College in Salem, VA has a plaque on it honoring Stephen LaMantia, a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, who died on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.  There is also a scholarship in his name to assist Roanoke College students “whose parents have died in the line of duty.”

The Jeremy L. Glick memorial Scholarship at the University of Rochester honors an alumnus who was among those on Flight 93 who banded together to thwart terrorist efforts to crash the plane into the U.S. Capitol.  The award goes to undergraduates who are fraternity or sorority members and who have financial need.  Mr. Glick was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity.

At York College of Pennsylvania, alumnus Frank T. Aquilino ’97 is remembered with a memorial scholarship.  He was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald.

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September 6th, 2011

Staff Reporter

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