Dear Friends of Oswego State,
As 2001 draws to a close, I want to share with you who are not among us daily on campus the strength and compassion that burst into full flower within our college community on September 11 and in the months since. I wish to extend the profound sympathy of our community to those among you who lost loved ones in the horrific events of that day. We have learned of 11 Oswego alumni who died in the dev-astation of the World Trade Center. Several members of our campus community lost relatives and friends. As the world changed before our eyes that terrible day, our students, faculty and staff reached out to one another to grieve, to strive to understand and to find effective ways to respond.
They found many. Here are some of them:
- A blood drive happened to be taking place on September 11 in Hewitt Union. Members of the Oswego campus community donated 92 pints of blood before the Red Cross team exhausted its supplies, and as many as 150 people in line had to be turned away. Another 110 units of blood were collected in Novem-ber.
- The staff of the Counseling Center relocated to Hewitt Union to serve students and others overwhelmed by shock and sorrow. Throughout September and October, the center counseled more students in more sessions than in prior years.
- Staff and students organized an awe-inspiring candlelight vigil the night of September 11. An estimated 2,500 members of the campus community gathered that starry night in a show of concern and solidarity and, as Student Association President Tim Barnhart said, pledged "a commitment to hope, a commitment to remember and a commitment to restore peace and justice in our lives and in our land."
- Faculty organized a series of 12 weekly teach-ins beginning the evening of September 12 that have il-luminated our understanding of the turmoil and challenge we face. Professors from many disciplines spoke, as did religious leaders in our community, concerned students and international students from al-ready war-torn lands.
- An alumni Web site went up the week of the attacks to report on the status of alumni living in the areas affected. It can be found at http://www.oswegoalumni.oswego.edu/attackonamerica/
- More than $7,000 was collected in four campus fund-raising drives for September 11 relief funds, the largest of which was a record-breaking student "Miss-a-Meal" collection in conjunction with Auxiliary Services that raised more than $5,000.
Out of horror, some good has come. At the vigil on September 11, I stood in awe of the magnificent hu-manity revealed in our community. You can be proud of the way Oswego responded in the face of terror-ism. As members of an academic community, we are conscious of our responsibility as guardians of the liberties and freedoms that underpin the very life and purposes of higher education. A strong system of public higher education is one of our nation's most noble achievements, and our college stands as a shin-ing example.
As we go forward into a new year, we will strive to live our values and ideals and to work for a future of peace and justice. I deeply appreciate your continuing support of our college and all it represents.
Deborah F. Stanley