When the tragedy of Sept. 11 struck, the UR community responded.

Initial shock and grief gave way to a firm resolve as UR students, faculty and administration donated blood, held memorial services and raised over $20,000 to help with relief efforts.

“There isn’t a person in this room who doesn’t feel some sense of grief,” Dean of The College William Green said at a fundraising concert on Sept. 21. “In the 27 years I have been here, I’ve never been more proud of the students of this university.”

Students, members of the faculty, Vice President Paul Burgett and UR President Thomas Jackson all sat in the Interfaith Chapel at a silent vigil on the day after the attacks. “I was shocked and dismayed at the sheermagnitude of the horror,” Burgett said.

After initially holding morning classes on the day of the tragedy, the River Campus decided to suspend classes for the rest of the day and an overwhelming response began.

Almost as soon as the Boeing 767s hit the twin towers at the World Trade Center, members of the UR community were lining up to give blood to help the victims of the tragedies.

Junior Steve Salipante showed up to a blood drive at Strong Memorial Hospital at 8:30 a.m on Sept. 12 and had to wait until 12:30 p.m. to give blood. He said he wanted to help the victims of the tragedies. “I think it’s horrible that everyday people were targets of an attack,” he said.

Patriotism abounded on campus. Most prominently, two flags appeared on the outside of the third floor of Anderson Tower Thursday, Sept. 13.

Sophomore Michael Mas-kalans said he put one of the flags there “as a basic show of patriotism” in response to the way America reacted to the tragedy.

Patriotism was also present at the vigil service held Friday, Sept. 14 on the Eastman Quadrangle as people broke out into songs including “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”

A number of students began raising money. Some floors in the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls set up dinners, others did floor collections. Organizations on campus also started collections.

Efforts to reach the goal of raising $20,000 were successful. A booth was set up by the Students’ Association in Wilson Commons where all could donate money to helping the victims.

A pair of benefit concerts was held on Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22. They included performances by the Yellowjackets, Vocal Point, the Midnight Ramblers, In Between the Lines and the Strong Jugglers.

Geoffrey Rosenburger represented the American Red Cross on Saturday night and accepted a check for more than $20,000. He thanked students for the generous offer and pleaded to those who had not given blood to call the Rochester division of the American Red Cross to make an appointment.

Students were happy with the way in which their peers united. “The student body’s response to this effort has been tremendous,” said senior Samay Gheewala, a member of the improv troupe.

Lost Alumni

The UR community also paused to remember alumni who were victims on Sept. 11.

Six UR graduates died in the terror attacks of Sept. 11. Four died in the WTC ? Zhe “Zack” Zeng, class of 1995, Jeffrey R. Smith, class of 1987, Brendan Dolan, class of 1986 and Arm Iskenderian, class of 1982.

Two died on United Air Flight 93 ? Jeremy Glick, class of 1993 and Jean Hoadley Peterson, class of 1969.

Two men in particular stood out as heroes. On his way to a business trip in California, Glick’s plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania. He is believed to have led the plane’s passengers in an attack to stop the hijackers. It is believed they were headed for the U.S. Capitol.

Alumni from Alpha Delta Phi, Glick’s fraternity, started a scholarship in March in his memory. The fund will give financial assistance to students in fraternities and sororities.

“We wanted to find some way to memorialize Jeremy on campus,” said Class of 1998 graduate Aron Reina, who is head of the graduate chapter of ADF. “He was really devoted to making things better for Greeks on campus.”

An English major, Glick was a Strategic Account Manager for Vividence, Inc. at the time of his death. While at UR, he served as president of ADF, was the captain of the rugby team and a national collegiate judo competitor.

The 32-year-old is being considered for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Zeng helped rescue people from the World Trade Center towers, sacrificing his own life when the buildings collapsed.

In his Jan. 2 State of the State Address, Gov. George Pataki commended Zeng’s heroism.

“Zack Zeng, a 29-year-old employee at the Bank of New York, emigrated to America from mainland China as a teenager,” Pataki said. “He worked his way through the University of Rochester, built a promising career in business and became an EMT to help his neighbors.

“Zack wasn’t at the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11. But he knew that his emergency training could save lives. So he ran toward the danger and confusion. He was last seen on television caring for others.”

Reporting by Kirstin Michel, Dan Bock, Mansi Desai, Emily Brandon, Chadwick Schnee and Cecilia Le.

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