September 11, Reynolda House,
and Health Sciences
The only measure of our capacity to love people and ideals beyond our immediate circle
of affection is the willingness, readiness and capacity to sacrifice—and to suffer if need
be—that the objects of our devotion and the moral and spiritual aims of our lives be
advanced. To love is to serve, if need be to sacrifice, for the purposes to which we devote
our lives.
Thomas K. Hearn Jr., May 20, 2002;
Charge to the Graduates, Wake Forest University Commencement
tudents had hardly settled into a routine at the start of the academic year
when the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, occurred
September 11, 2001. An alumnus, Mark Schurmeier (’79), was killed in the
north tower of the World Trade Center when it collapsed. He was forty-four years
old. The attacks affected life on the Reynolda Campus as well, often in unexpected
ways. Behaviors ranged from anxiety, caution, prevention, and reassurance to posi-
tive action and resolve. In an immediate response, Sam Gladding (Associate Provost/
Counseling) spent a week after the attacks working with the Red Cross at Pier 94 in
New York City, providing psychological first aid to families in grief who lost love ones
from the attacks on the World Trade Center. On September 17, President Hearn wrote
to parents, assuring them that Wake Forest was committed to care for students’ needs,
both their physical safety and emotional well-being. He ended: “We remain com-
mitted to each other, to our country, and to principles of good.” The University also
reached out to alumni and parents in the Washington and New York areas by phone.
A group of students led by Jonathan Willingham and Jay Cridlin organized a
series of events that explored questions raised by the attack. A theme had not been
set for the year, so they called it The Year of Unity and Hope: Pro Humanitate at
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