Group of UAlbany Alumni Unveil 9/11 Memorial Bench Ahead of 20th Anniversary

Image of UAlbany's 9/11 memorial bench on the walking path to ETEC.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 7, 2021) – Conner Dunleavy still remembers the first time he read about the 19 University at Albany alumni who tragically lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It was 2014. He was a freshman.

“UAlbany shared a memorial website page that paid homage to our alumni that were lost on September 11,” said Dunleavy, who graduated in 2017. “It was at that moment that I realized how big of an impact that horrifying day had on our campus community.”

“My father was at the scene of the World Trade Center as an NYPD officer, ground zero. That day is personal to my family, and me personally. My first reaction was that there needed to be something more permanent to honor the memories of our alumni who were lost.”

Now, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Dunleavy is ready to unveil that permanent remembrance.  

UAlbany has installed a 9/11 memorial bench on the new walking path to ETEC on the Uptown Campus, directly behind the Boor Sculpture Studio. The granite bench, designed by alumn Dan Giroux of Loiselle Memorials, is symbolically shaped, with two rectangular towers and the UAlbany Minerva logo on one side as the base. The seat of the bench connects to a pentagon-shaped base on the other side.

Contractors work together to install the 9/11 memorial bench on the new walking path to ETEC.
The memorial bench was installed on the new walking path to ETEC last week. (Photo by Paul Miller)

The top of the seat, which has a natural stone finish, reads “dedicated to the memory of alumni who were killed in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.”

Dunleavy first proposed the idea when he was a freshman senator at UAlbany’s Student Association. He teamed up with Michael Longo ’15, Lee Stanton ’14, and Edward McGlone ’11, UAlbany’s former assistant director of annual giving. The group has supported the memorial from start to finish: a seven-year planning process.

“This is the smallest thing we could do to honor such a horrible loss of life in our campus community,” said Stanton, who is now a detective specialist at the New York City Police Department. “We talk about the term ‘never forget.’ That’s what this bench represents. Twenty years from now, students who did not live through 9/11 will be able to take a moment to pause and reflect on the significance of that day. We’re bridging gaps forever.”

“The 9/11 attacks have shaped the world we live in today,” Longo said. “UAlbany has the nation’s first college of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, which was largely influenced by the events on that day. Fittingly, the bench is located on the pathway to the college’s new home at ETEC.”

“It means a lot to me, and all of us, to finally bring this memorial to campus,” he added.

The memorial is funded through the Class of 2017 senior gift – which was voted on by the student body before graduation. More than 500 students, parents and local organizations raised $15,000 for the bench’s design and installation.

“This is by far the thing I am most proud to have played a role in during my time working at the University,” said McGlone. "Unfortunately, the 9/11 terror attacks are one of the most memorable events in my life. I had a friend who lost his father on that day. I’m proud that UAlbany can now properly memorialize people who were lost or impacted.”

The UAlbany community will convene at the ETEC walking path this Saturday at 10 a.m. to honor the alumni lives lost on 9/11. The event will include a brief ceremony with alumni remembrances, the official unveiling of the Class of 2017’s memorial bench, a moment of silence and time to reflect together as a community. Parking will be available in the Indigenous East Commuter and/or visitor lots (lots 15 and 29 on the campus map).

Later that night, UAlbany’s football team will honor the men and women who serve our country as well as the Capital Region’s first responders and health care workers during the annual “Hometown Heroes” game against Rhode Island at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. Fans can purchase $5 tickets that will be donated to local veterans, first-responders and health care organizations through UAlbany Athletics’ “Tickets 4 Heroes Program.” Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

With special affection, UAlbany will always remember:

  • Jon L. Albert ’77 – B.S. Mathematics
  • Shawn Bowman ’94 – B.S. Business Administration, ’96 – MBA
  • Mark A. Brisman ’89 – B.S. Accounting
  • Elizabeth Darling ’96 – B.A. Sociology
  • Jeffrey L. Fox ’82 – B.S. Accounting
  • Clyde Frazier ’88 – B.A. Africana Studies
  • Taimour Khan ’94 – B.A. Economics
  • John P. Lozowsky ’86-87 - General Studies
  • Michael Lynch ’90 – B.A. Political Science
  • Joseph Maffeo ’94 – B.A. Geographical Information and Spatial Analysis
  • Scott M. McGovern ’87 – B.S. Business Administration
  • Stephen Vincent Mulderry ’92 – B.A. Rhetoric & Communications
  • John A. Reo ’00 – B.A. Economics
  • Brooke David Rosenbaum ’91 – B.A. Psychology
  • Karen H. Schmidt ’80 – B.S. Interdisciplinary
  • See-wong Shum ’90 - MBA
  • James G. Smith ’79 – B.S. Business Administration
  • Michael T. Wholey ’88 – B.A. Political Science
  • Michael Wittenstein ’89 – B.S. Business Administration

Those wishing to contribute to the 9/11 Memorial project in support of ongoing maintenance and upkeep may do so at: albany.edu/give