Class of 1995 graduate Zhe “Zack” Zeng helped rescue people from the World Trade Center towers, sacrificing his own life when the buildings collapsed.

On May 19, Zeng, a volunteer Emergency Medical Service worker, was honored along with 24 other EMS workers in a new memorial in Albany.

In his Jan. 2 State of the State Address, Gov. George Pataki commended Zeng’s heroism on Sept. 11.

“For on that day, thousands of New Yorkers – firefighters, police officers, EMTs, Port Authority police, court officers, teachers and people from all walks of life -responded to unspeakable horror with unrelenting heroism,” the governor said.

“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. He was living the American Dream.

“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. He died an American hero,” Pataki said.

In a release from the Simon School Office of Public Affairs, Associate Professor and area coordinator of operations management Phillip Lederer said of Zeng, “What I strongly remember about Zack was his sense of humor and many pleasant interactions outside of class. He often came up to me to talk about class work and his job search. In class and out, he often had a smile on his face. Grace and humor were his ways through life. I will miss him.”

Zeng is one of six UR graduates who died in the terror attacks of Sept. 11. Four of these graduates died in the WTC. Class of 1987 graduate Jeffrey R. Smith worked at an investment banking firm on the 104th floor of the WTC. Class of 1986 graduate Brendan Dolan was a broker for Carr Futures in the WTC. Class of 1982 graduate Arm Iskenderian also worked in the WTC, in the bond-trading company Cantor Fitzgerald.

Two UR graduates died on United Air Flight 93. Class of 1969 graduate Jean Hoadley Peterson was traveling with her husband Donald on the flight. Class of 1993 graduate Jeremy Glick was also on board.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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