On the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, we at Bwog stand with the victims and their families.

On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever. Civilians were attacked on American soil. Neighbor turned against neighbor, with hate crimes against Muslim, Sikh, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian-descended Americans skyrocketing. A Global War on Terror, still being waged today, was declared. The United States was no longer safe.

In statements released yesterday. President Bollinger and President Beilock addressed the anniversary to the Columbia community, honoring the 42 alumni who passed away that day.

Bollinger also said that the University honors all affiliates who lost someone on that day, and all affiliates who have served in the armed forces. Bollinger also iterated the University’s connection with the city and how the attacks have shaped its scholarship today. His statement and the names of the alumni victims can be found below.

President Beilock also addressed the tragedy to the Barnard community. She said we should also recognize the rise in anti-Muslim and antisemitic sentiments, as well as the current suffering in Afghanistan, as part of the “global response” to the day. Beilock stated that the Barnard community “remember[s] those lost on that day, and all who were wounded, physically and emotionally.” She also listed memorial events held this weekend, which can be found below. According to Bwog’s research, none of the alumni victims attended Barnard College.

Bwog stands with the victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families, as well as anyone suffering from death, grief, war, and Islamophobia following the events of the 2001 tragedy.

Columbia Alumni 9/11 Victims 

    1.    PAUL A. ACQUAVIVA (School of Law, ’97)

    2.    RICHARD A. ARONOW (Columbia College, ’75)

    3.    PAUL V. BARBARO (SEAS, ’91)

    4.    DANIEL D. BERGSTEIN (SEAS, ’84)

    5.    MICHAEL J. BERKELEY (Columbia Business School, ’87)

    6.    JOSHUA D. BIRNBAUM (General Studies, ’01)


    8.    JOSEPH A. DELLA PIETRA (Columbia College, ’99)

    9.    JOHN B. FIORITO (Columbia College, ’82)

    10.    ARLENE E. FRIED (School of Law, ’93 )

    11.    RICHARD P. GABRIEL, SR. (Columbia Business School, ’72)

    12.    ROCCO NINO GARGANO (General Studies)

    13.    VASSILIOS G. HARAMIS (SEAS, ’71 )

    14.    JOHN C. HARTZ (Columbia Business School, ’62)

    15.    BROOKE A. JACKMAN (Columbia College, ’00)

    16.    DOUGLAS G. KARPILOFF (SEAS, ’71)

    17.    HOWARD L. KESTENBAUM (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, ’69, ’72)

    18.    SEILAI KHOO (Columbia College, ’86)

    19.    ANDREW J. KIM (SEAS, ’96)

    20.    KAREN J. KLITZMAN (School of International and Public Affairs, ’88)

    21.    NAUKA KUSHITANI (Teachers College, ’86; School of International and Public Affairs, ’88)

    22.    MATTHEW G. LEONARD (School of Law, ’87)

    23.    CHARLES A. LESPERANCE (Columbia Business School, ’73)

    24.    ALISHA C. LEVIN (Teachers College, ’92)


    26.    ARNOLD A. LIM (School of Continuing Education and Special Programs, ’01)

    27.    JOSEPH MATHAI (Columbia Business School, ’76)

    28.    DIARELIA J. MENA (School of Continuing Education and Special Programs)

    29.    ROBERT M. MURACH (Columbia College, ’78)

    30.    BRIAN J. MURPHY (Columbia Business School, ’87)

    31.    THERESA (GINGER) RISCO NELSON (General Studies, ’80)

    32.    LEAH E. OLIVER (SEAS, ’98)

    33.    JEAN HOADLEY PETERSON (Teachers College, ’77)

    34.    EHTESHAM U. RAJA (SEAS, ’96)

    35.    THOMAS M. REGAN (Columbia Business School, ’98)

    36.    NASIMA H. SIMJEE (Columbia Business School, ’93)

    37.    HARRY TABACK (Columbia Business School, ’84)

    38.    RONALD TARTARO (SEAS, ’85, ’86)

    39.    TYLER V. UGOLYN (Columbia College, ’01)

    40.    VICTOR WALD (School of International and Public Affairs, ’75; Columbia Business School, ’76)

    41.    WEIBIN WANG (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, ’94)

    42.    BRIAN P. WILLIAMS (Columbia College, ’09)

Statement from President Lee C. Bollinger to the Columbia community on September 10, 2021:

I have been in New York City twice when it stopped. One was in the spring of 2020 at the height of the pandemic. And the other was September 11, 2001. In each instance, the stillness betrayed an atmosphere of terror and tragedy. But each also marked a major shift in consciousness and focus, at every level of life. I still hope that the shift this time is for the better.  

Let me speak from the vantage point of Columbia. Today we honor the 42 Columbia alumni who died in the attacks. We honor the large number of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni who lost family members or friends. We honor the thousands of Columbia students and alumni who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere through military service. We are deeply proud of these courageous veterans and admiring of their selflessness and courage. We owe a debt of gratitude to the large contingent of Columbia alumni and faculty who have served and continue to serve at all levels of government.

Columbia is more integrally connected to the history and evolution of New York City, from its origins to the present, than any other institution I can think of. In life, one is always shaped and affected by where one lives, and for Columbia, that being New York City, the effects are profound. It is, then, not surprising—though it is still worth noting—that the events of September 11 and its radiating consequences have been woven into our scholarship, teaching, and public action and to the experiences of all those who have been on our campuses. Here are just a few examples: The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia was designed by two alumni of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman. Columbians served on the board of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in lower Manhattan. Our faculty have conducted important research on the mental and physical health of victims, caregivers, and first responders. But the legacy of attacks has rippled far wider into our scholarship as well. Columbia faculty have made substantial contributions to public awareness and understanding of government surveillance, American foreign policy, and Islamophobia. The 9/11 Project at Columbia’s Center for Oral History Research contains more than 900 hours of New Yorkers’ testimony recounting their experiences. The Wallach Art Gallery is hosting The Way We Remember: Fritz Koenig’s Sphere, the Trauma of 9/11, and the Politics of Memory, an examination of the interplay among public monuments, memory, and trauma.

September 11, 2001 now seems incredibly distant and yet continuously present. So much has happened since then; so much of it traceable to those moments of horror. I always feel proud when I study what Columbia has done and is doing about things that matter in life. That is especially true when the question is how our institution has sought to shape and understand the two decades of history that have unfolded since 9/11/01.

Email from Barnard President Sian Leah Beilock, sent to Barnard students on September 10, 2021 at 11:01 am:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Tomorrow marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and over Pennsylvania. No doubt, this day touches members of the Barnard community in different ways. Some of us found our lives directly changed by the events of that day, whether it be through losses and trauma suffered. For others of us, especially our younger generation, you know 9/11 as history, as told to you by family and friends.

Yet, whatever our personal experience, these events continue to shape us and the world around us in profound ways. As scholars and students, we are bound to continue to examine, analyze, and act on the lessons of 9/11 and all that has followed, whether that is through the lens of political science, psychology, art, health, or a myriad of other fields. The events of that day have added layers of complexity to our foundational commitment to fight oppression, including anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic biases that are wrapped up in 9/11 and the global response to the attacks. In the most recent example, the suffering we see in Afghanistan right now traces back directly to that day — and, for Barnard, as a community focused on the education of women, the looming threats to our peers and a generation of students to come strike especially deep.

Closer to home, Barnard is not just in New York, we are of New York, a vital element of a city that is now in part defined by 9/11 and the city’s response to it. We have a special role and obligation to heed this pivotal event and its lasting impact as we pursue our work. We are called to remember those lost on that day, and all who were wounded, physically and emotionally. We are reminded of our interdependence and the moral imperative to help and support one another, especially those in most need.

September 11 is designated nationally as an official Day of Remembrance and Service. In keeping with that, our Office of Community Engagement and Inclusion is participating in The Daffodil Project, the largest living memorial to the victims of 9/11 and the largest civic engagement effort in NYC led by New Yorkers 4 Parks. It is an opportunity for the Barnard community to connect and commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

    •    9/10: On-Campus Daffodil Planting today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next to the Athena statue with CE&I, the DEI cabinet, Barnard Facilities, and the Garden Club. Everyone is welcome — no registration required.

    •    9/11: At Morningside Park we will expand our participation in the Daffodil Project through planting and participating in a park cleanup from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Register here.

Other opportunities as a member of the Barnard community to learn more about the legacies of 9/11:

    •    A documentary screening and panel event on Sept. 12 entitled “Memory to Legacy: Living with the Tragedies of 9/11.” Panel to follow with Professors Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, J.C. Salyer, and guest speaker Cathlin Goulding. Event hosted by the Media Center, in collaboration with the CEP and DEI Cabinet). Register here.

    •    The Monday Assemblies for Racial Justice, facilitated by Ife Leonard, MSW, EdM and Ariana Gonzalez Stokas, PhD, will begin the 2021-2022 academic year with a focus on 9/11. The Assemblies are an ongoing opportunity for the Barnard community to gather (either virtually or in person) and grapple with issues of racial and social justice on our campus, nationally, and around the world. All are welcome to attend virtually on September 13th at noon. Register here.

I hope you engage in some of these opportunities and please take some time to remember and reflect on this significant day.


Sian Leah Beilock


If you know a Columbia affiliate missing from our list of victims, or if you are a survivor of the attacks and want to share your story, contact Managing Editor Caroline Mullooly at caroline@bwog.com.

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