As tragic as that day was and those that followed, I recall the strong sense of community that is Fairfield University and the coming together of people across campus.
Mark Reed ’96
Title: Vice President for Administration and Chief of Staff
Town: Fairfield, CT
I can recall very specifically being on the phone in my office, talking to Fr. Kelley about something, when his secretary at the time – Kathy Crocco – came into his office and handed him a note that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We both thought it must have been a small private plane of some kind. While still on the phone, I tried to access CNN and other news sites online and had trouble getting to any of them.
After quickly hanging up, I recall standing in the conference room of our office suite in Dolan Hall watching the news coverage with Bill Schimpf. Right around that time, the second plane hit the other tower. My specific memories after that are somewhat vague, but I recall vividly the University’s crisis management team meeting that day to determine how members of the University community were impacted, starting first with determining if any students were down there for internships, job interviews, or other reasons, and then alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family members.
A Mass was planned for about 2 p.m. that afternoon. I don’t recall if classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day following the planes hitting the towers, but if they weren’t, they might as well have been. Everyone was watching the coverage on TV and coming together in groups large and small. The Mass was held outdoors on the chapel plaza, and I recall an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 in attendance for it.
My last personal memory of the day was taking a ride to the beach with Duane Melzer, who at that time was the Coordinator of Off-Campus Students, and we went there to touch base with students. We walked out to the sea wall at Lantern Point, and it was such a clear, sunny day that we could see the smoke from lower Manhattan across Long Island Sound. As tragic as that day was and those that followed, I recall the strong sense of community that is Fairfield University and the coming together of people across campus.
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