CUNY, Alma Mater of Many Lost in WTC Attack, Plans City-Wide Memorial Observances on September 11

August 27, 2002 | The University

The City University of New York, which lost students and alumni, and relatives of faculty, staff and students in the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, will mark the anniversary of the tragedy with memorials, conferences, an art installation, music, candlelight vigils and moments of silence. Five finalists for a special memorial web site design competition sponsored by the University will also be named.

“As a University community, we share a deep sense of grief and sorrow over the loss of loved ones and all those who perished. As New Yorkers and Americans, we join with the citizenry in seeking to cope with the profound distress attributable to the impact of terrorism,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

At CUNY’s headquarters at 535 East 80th Street, a memorial forum for Central Office staff will be held on September 11 from 10 a.m. to noon. At the request of Governor Pataki, all CUNY colleges have been asked to observe moments of silence and to “toll their bells” in honor of those who perished on September 11.

Examples of college activities include:

Baruch College’s Mishkin Gallery is presenting an exhibit entitled “In Memory: The Art of Afterward.” The exhibit brings together the work of artists from 16 countries offering a cross-cultural study of the themes of global violence, genocide and aftermath of trauma in the context of September 11th. The gallery is located at 135 East 22nd Street.

Borough of Manhattan Community College, located near Ground Zero, is planning a solemn afternoon ceremony that includes the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and the singing of “God Bless America.”

Bronx Community College will hold a commemoration ceremony on the campus quadrangle, which will include poetry readings, music and contemplation. A special art exhibit will also be displayed, featuring contributions from students, faculty and staff.

Brooklyn College’s commemoration will begin at noon at the Quadrangle with remarks by President Christoph Kimmich, followed by readings at the Lily Pond and activities in the Student Center. Participants are asked to bring a flower for the Wall of Remembrance.

Weeklong activities at the College of Staten Island will include a wall of remembrances in the Campus Center for students to write their thoughts and reflections, extended hours at the Prayer and Meditation Room, and counseling services available by appointment or as walk-ins. On September 11, a Meditation Garden will be dedicated at 2:30 p.m. and a candlelight vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m.

City College will commemorate 9/11 in a “Call to Remember” at 9:15 am on September 11. The ceremony will begin with a ringing of the bells to gather together in Lewisohn Plaza. After the anthem and a moment of silence for the victims and heroes of 9/11, President Gregory Williams, University Student Government President Johnathon Rinaldi, and Professor Harrient Alonso (Dean of the Center for Worker Education at the time), will speak. Poet and playwright Cornelius Eady will read poetry. A mural will be unveiled by the Student Government to be displayed prominently on campus.

The CUNY Graduate Center will present a two-day conference reflecting on “Death, Bereavement and Mourning: What We Have Learned a Year After 9/11.” The conference is being organized by Prof. Samuel Heilman, Graduate Center Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies. The program will begin September 10 at 7 p.m. with a plenary session in Elebash Recital Hall, where eminent psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton will speak “On Death and Human Continuity: 9/11 and Beyond. “The Graduate Center continues to add to its permanent Digital Archive of first-hand accounts of the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. Created by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at The Graduate Center, the 9/11 Digital Archive will help provide a historical context for understanding the events.

Hostos Community College has scheduled a moment of remembrance and of healing for September 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the Atrium, East Academic Complex (“C Building”), with readings, messages and reflections by the college community.

Hunter College will sponsor an event open to the community at the Kaye Playhouse from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 11. Scheduled speakers are President Jennifer Raab, and Professor Jenefer Shute, who will read her essay on “Instructions for Surviving the Unprecedented.” Prominent author and newspaper columnist Pete Hamill is an invited speaker.

On September 11, John Jay College of Criminal Justice has scheduled a “A Day of Reflection” for faculty, students and staff to commemorate 9/11. The events will take place from 3:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a series of musical performances and an original play based on dozens of oral history interviews at the John Jay College Theatre from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The play, “What Happened: The September 11th Testimony Project,” will be put on by John Jay students, faculty, and staff. The day will conclude with a panel discussion from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with John Jay College professors from various disciplines. Professors Blanche Wiesen Cook and Charles Strozier of the History Department, Barry Latzer of Government, and Jose Luis Morin of Puerto Rican Studies will discuss the immediate and future effects of the September 11 attacks.

Kingsborough Community College will invite the community to a series of events beginning just before sundown the night before. On September 10 at 6:30 p.m. Kingsborough will invite the public to proceed through the campus to the waterfront. College and community leaders will make brief remarks followed by candle lighting, a period of silence and the ringing of campus bells as attendees depart. Student leaders will hold flags representing the countries that lost citizens in the attack. Day-long observances will start the following day with a moment of silence at 8:45 a.m., followed by the tolling of college bells to mark the moments the attacks occurred. A serenity room, a scroll exhibit in the Art Gallery, poetic reflections, and a closing candlelight vigil on the beach at 7 p.m. are planned. “We believe the night before the [anniversary of the] attacks will be a restless night followed by a difficult morning,” said President Byron McClenney. “That’s why we are opening the gates of our campus on Tuesday evening as a show of solidarity and of support for each other, our city and our country as all Americans brace ourselves to remember that terrifying day last year.”

LaGuardia Community College’s program on “A Changed World: A Global Community Reflects,” will bring members of the college and local communities together from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on September 11 in the College’s main building. The observance will include personal reflections, an original musical piece composed by a student and student speeches. At 3:30 p.m. a tree dedication, moderated by a student who was one of the heroic rescue volunteers at Ground Zero, will take place in the cobblestone courtyard. Throughout the morning the Little Theater will serve as a meditation space.

The Lehman College community will gather at 10 a.m. on September 11 in the Campus Quad near Shuster Hall. President Ricardo R. Fernàndez will speak and unveil a permanent plaque in front of a memorial tree in honor of members of the Lehman community and all those who died on 9/11/01. Inspirational poems will be read and songs will be sung as part of the remembrance. A memorial cloth/scroll will be available in the lobby of the Music Building the week of September 9 to allow members of the campus community to write their words of remembrance, thoughts or feelings for those who perished. The scroll will be displayed in the Student Life Building. The Lehman College Art Gallery will present ‘Missing:’ An Installation,” by Barbara Siegal. The artist said, After September 11 my neighborhood, which is eight blocks from the Trade Center, was soon papered with ‘missing posters from people still hopeful of finding their friends and family members alive. As I encountered these images on the street, day after day, I was always struck and deeply moved by the combination of ineffable sadness and irrepressible optimism which they represented.”

Medgar Evers College will have “A Time for Reflection” from 12:00-1:30 pm in the college auditorium, 1650 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn. There will be speakers and the Imani singers will perform.

New York City College of Technology’s Committee on Pluralism and Diversity will co-sponsor a seminar at the United Nations World Headquarters on September 11 at 1:15 p.m. on “Coming Out of the Dark: The Role of Faith in Recovering from Conflict.” It is part of a three-day U.N. conference on “Rebuilding Societies Emerging from Conflict: a Shared Responsibility.” Co-sponsor of the seminar is the Temple of Understanding, an international interfaith organization.

Queens College will hold a memorial service on the Campus Quad from 12 to 1 pm, followed by a candlelight vigil scheduled for 5 to 6 pm. President James Muyskens, campus ministers and student leaders will be speaking and grief counsellors will be available to assist students. A plaque in memory of all those who were lost will be dedicated on Alumni Day, October 5, 2002

Queensborough Community College will hold a ceremony with a brief introduction by President Eduardo Marti, presentation of certificates of honor to more than 30 members of the Queensborough Community (faculty, students, staff) who contributed to the 9/11 recovery efforts; musical interludes; and a time of silence. Representatives from the local police precinct and fire department will accept recognition from the College for their vital roles to 9/11, and to the community at large. A candlelight ceremony will also be held in the evening, to include music and communal sharing of silence for those lost on 9/11. This event is sponsored by the Student Government Association. As part of its ongoing observances, QCC will continue the Wall of Remembrance — located through out the Science Building lobby — for Queensborough’s communities to write their reflections on the anniversary of 9/11, and a Counseling Center – open to all members of the community who wish to further reflect on the events of 9/11 and the impact of these events on their lives.

York College will hold a “A Day of Remembrance” on Wednesday, September 11. The event will consist of musical performances, prayer, personal reflections, recognition of uniformed officers from the 105th precinct, Engine Company 158, and EMT from Mary Immaculate Hospital. Closing remarks will be delivered by President Russell Hotzler.

CUNY TV is also planning special programing examining development issues at Ground Zero, and a feature on the media and its coverage of the War on Terror. CUNY TV is available on cable channel 75.

The event will be held in the Atrium of the Academic Core building from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.