WMU News

Campus remembers Sept. 11 with four services

Sept. 10, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Services will be held throughout the afternoon and evening of Sept. 11 at Western Michigan University to remember the victims and families of victims of the terrorist attacks one year ago.

All services are free and open to the public. More about each of the day's events will be published on the Web in WMU News as details become available.

Noon, Service of Reflection -- Students, faculty and staff are invited to share their reflections through an open microphone "Service of Reflection" in Kanley Memorial Chapel from noon to 1 p.m. Those attending are welcome to arrive and leave as their schedules require.

3 p.m., Memorial Dedication -- President Floyd will be joined by faculty and staff for the dedication of an employee-sponsored Sept. 11 memorial near Goldsworth Valley Pond beginning at 3 p.m. Those attending are invited to leave remembrances at the memorial. See details below.

7 p.m., Service of Remembrance -- President Floyd and WMU graduate Jill Whitaker from New York City will be joined by students and faculty members at a "Service of Remembrance" in Miller Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. See details below.

8:30 p.m., Ribbon of Light -- A candlelight vigil, "Ribbon of Light," will conclude the day's services with a human chain of candle bearers stretching for as much as one mile across the campus. Rallying point for the start of the vigil is the Fountain Plaza outside Miller Auditorium at 8:30 p.m. The vigil will conclude in Goldsworth Valley near the memorial dedicated earlier in the day. Diane Swartz, vice president for student affairs, will offer remarks to close the day's activities.

Memorial Dedication, 3 p.m.
Goldsworth Valley

The University's employee-sponsored Sept. 11 memorial will be dedicated by President Elson Floyd, who will also offer his reflections on the tragic events of September 2001. Other comments will be offered by Robert Jones, mayor of Kalamazoo; Dr. Delores Walcott, WMU assistant professor and clinical psychologist; and Dr. Alan Walker, WMU vice provost for extended University programs.

The dedication ceremony will open and close with a color guard from the University's Army ROTC battalion accompanied on bagpipes by WMU employee Gloria Culp, Registrar's Office. Rev. Ms. Coleen Smith Slosberg, United Campus Ministry, will deliver the invocation. WMU staff member Jennifer Messana, Career & Student Employment Services, will sing the national anthem.

New faculty member Allison Downey will sing "On the Day (September 11, 2001)," which she wrote and recorded immediately following the tragedy as a fund-raiser for the families of victims. Downey is an assistant professor and director of theatre education. She will also perform the song at the 7 p.m. Service of Remembrance.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, those attending will be invited to leave personal tokens, such as flowers, poetry, prayers, drawings or other mementos.

Supervisors are encouraged to allow WMU staff members to attend this event. Employees are expected to return to work at the conclusion of the ceremony if their regular workday has not ended.

The memorial was paid for with $2,700 in contributions from WMU employee organizations and their members and through services and materials donated by area vendors and WMU's Landscape Services. Contributing employee organizations include the Administrative Professional Association, Police Officers Association and Professional Support Staff Organization and the WMU chapters of the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees AFL-CIO.

The Employee Memorial Committee began planning and fund raising for a Sept. 11 memorial in October 2001. Members of the committee are Toby Boyle, Office of Information Technology; George Eskro, Career and Student Employment Services; Paul Hildenbrand, College of Education; Dori LaChance, Registrar's Office; Jennifer Messana, Career and Student Employment Services; and Stephen Podewell, Lee Honors College.

Back to schedule

Service of Remembrance, 7 p.m.
Miller Auditorium

Western Student Association President John Knowles will lead a student-organized Service of Remembrance for the campus and Kalamazoo area communities.

Offering remarks at the service will be President Elson Floyd and students Courtney Cooley and Nina Maleve. Senior Jeff Suffolk will talk about his "Remembrance Ride," a 16-day bicycle ride from Kalamazoo to Manhattan to Washington, D.C., to Shanksville, Pa., and back to Kalamazoo. Suffolk made the 1,725-mile journey in August to the three sites of the Sept. 11 tragedy as a fund-raiser for a student-sponsored memorial on campus.

Jill Whitaker, a 1966 WMU graduate from Manhattan and past president of the Alumni Association's Greater New York Chapter, will be the principle speaker. Whitaker witnessed firsthand the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers and will offer her reflections on the 12 months since.

Vocal selections will be offered by the Voices of WMU Gospel Choir and by an ensemble of 40 music theatre majors, singing "And the Day After That," accompanied by Sean Michael Flowers.

New faculty member Allison Downey will sing "On the Day (September 11, 2001)," which she wrote and recorded immediately following the tragedy as a fund-raiser for the families of victims. Downey is an assistant professor and director of theatre education. She will also perform the song at the 3 p.m. memorial dedication.

The program also will include a video review of the year 2001 at WMU.

Planning for the Service of Remembrance and other Sept. 11 services was coordinated by Beth Schwartz from Kanley Chapel and Student Activities and Leadership Programs. Among those on the planning committee were Erin Czelada from the Office of Alumni Relations and students Courtney Cooley, Mitzi Grier, John Knowles, Matt Luchansky, Laura Napiewocki and Jeff Suffolk.

Back to schedule

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400