September 11, 2001
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Amherst College > News & Events > Terrorist Attacks > To the Amherst Community, Sept. 13

To the Amherst Community

Tom Gerety
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001

We continue to hear from alumni, parents and friends about members of the Amherst community caught up in the tragedy at the World Trade Center and elsewhere. To my knowledge, three of our campus families remain without word of loved ones in the towers themselves: Bonnie Smithwick, the mother of Jim Smithwick '03, was on the 92nd floor of one of the towers with Fred Alger Management Company; Catherine Macrae, the sister of Annie Macrae '04, was with the same firm on a nearby floor; and Rachel Cardona '04 still awaits word from her aunt, who worked on one of the lower floors in one of the towers.

In the larger Amherst community of alumni and their families, we learned yesterday about Frederick Rimmele on United 175. In addition, Maurita Tam, who graduated last spring, was on the 99th floor of Tower 2, working at a company called AOM, and her family has not heard from her since the event. And Brock Safronoff '97, who was married a few weeks ago to his classmate, Tara Neelakantappa, was on the 96th floor of Tower 1, working as a computer programmer at Marsh & McLennan. Tara told me this afternoon that Brock remains among the missing.

We are proud to report that Professor Pat O'Hara's brother, Robert O'Hara, a New York City firefighter, continues to work on the rescue effort. I understand, too, that some of our students have relatives in the New York Police and Fire Departments. We commend their heroic work and wish them well.

Tomorrow, Friday, September 14th, will be a national day of mourning. At Amherst there will be a noontime service of remembrance for the victims in Johnson Chapel. All members of the Amherst community are invited to attend. Campus employees should feel free to take the time to attend the service; dining services employees should consult with their supervisor. There will be a vigil in the evening to which all are invited. The vigil will begin at 10 p.m. on the First-Year Quad.

Classes and athletic practices will be held at the discretion of individual faculty and coaches, some of whom will want to devote time to discussion of this week's crisis.

On campus this weekend, the celebrations of co-education will be postponed. The lovely photograph exhibit in the McCaffrey Room will remain open. The choral concert by the Doshisha University Glee Club Friday night will be dedicated to the victims of these terrorist attacks. All athletic contests this weekend will observe moments of silence to show their respect for the lost and grieving.

To all those whom we care about, many of whom are still unheard from, we turn our thoughts and prayers. Should you learn more, please be in touch with the Public Affairs Office.