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A September 11 Reflection

In the weeks since the tragedy of September 11, I have been frequently asked how our students, faculty, and staff are dealing with this crisis.

My answer is that in many ways our campus mirrors the rest of the nation. Indeed, we may be a microcosm of the larger national reaction. Some of us have lost close family and friends, others have been more remotely impacted, but all are stunned by the horror of that day. What is overwhelmingly clear is that the despicable events of September 11 have brought the Hobart and William Smith community together in important ways.

In an academic environment, we are fortunate to have the support services of our Chaplain, Deans, and counselors. We benefit enormously from the expertise of our faculty as they help all of us sort out the geo-political and crosscutting issues surrounding this crisis. And we are all inspired by the impressive volunteer efforts of our students in blood drives, fundraising, and support efforts.

Many students and faculty on campus remember Scott Rohner '01 well and recall fondly his gift for friendship and athletic skills. Faculty and alums have reflected on Andrew Golkin '93 and his involvement in his fraternity and his successful career. And all were saddened to learn that Michael Simon '83 left three children under twelve years old. (See memoriam on page 7.)

As our nation's spirit has been tested, so, too, for Hobart and William Smith. Yet I am struck by the genuine sense of community at this time.

When we were finalizing this edition of the Pulteney St. Survey, readying and preparing stories of the excitement for the plans for our new academic building, the promise of the incoming classes of 2005 and the visit of former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to Geneva for the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, tragedy struck. We held this edition in order to report to you on the loss of our three graduates and to provide an appropriate honor for them. We also wanted to outline how such a significant event affected campus.

In the pages that follow, you will easily see this sharp contrast between the beginning of our academic year and the energy of many good things happening - new Asian Languages and Cultures program, announcement of the new academic building, new faculty appointments and lacrosse coach - with the sadness of September 11.

We go forward united in our mission as a student centered learning environment committed to excellence, globally focused, grounded in the values of equity and service, and developing citizens who will lead in the 21st century.

Personally, I am grateful to be a part of such a community at this time. A friend of mine may have said it best when he urged us to follow in the words of Deuteronomy: "Be strong and of good courage."

Mark D. Gearan

Mark D. Gearan
President

 

INFORMATION

A September 11 Reflection

Lakeviews Column
Fall 2001 Pulteney St. Survey