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View and share images of the “chain of unity” on Flickr.

Lafayette marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a series of talks organized by Marquis Scholars, led by Shannon Moran ’14, and other events, including an interfaith service, a human “chain of unity” around the Quad, and a free concert by pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn.

The service and human chain took place during the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 11. They emphasized “the community here that strives to live as a unified body, while acknowledging our uniqueness as individuals,” according to organizer John Colatch, College chaplain and director of religious life.

One World, One People: Lafayette Remembers 9/11

The Lafayette community reacted in shock and horror with the rest of the nation and the world as news spread the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, that airliners had crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Somerset County, Pa. In the days and weeks that followed, students, faculty, and staff shared their grief during discussions in classrooms and offices and at lunch tables.

Yet the tragedy affirmed common bonds as the campus joined together in prayer services, discussion forums, and efforts to provide assistance to victims and to those aiding them. Many thoughts and prayers were focused on four members of the Lafayette family who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, Neil Levin ’76, Rick Thorpe ’89, Jeff LeVeen P’98, and William Pohlmann P’96.

One of the most inspiring ways in which the Lafayette community responded to the events of Sept. 11 was through the creation of a commemorative quilt entitled “One World, One People.” Led by Geoffrey Gresh ’02, student resident advisers coordinated the effort with assistance from staff in the Office of Residence Life and the Landis Community Outreach Center. After being displayed in Farinon College Center, it was retired in a ceremony Sept. 11, 2002.

A special publication, One World, One People: Lafayette College Remembers 9/11, includes images of the quilt and quotations contributed by members of the campus community to a memorial ribbon garden.

In Memoriam

The names of Neil Levin ’76, Rick Thorpe ’89, Jeff LeVeen P’98, and William Pohlmann P’96 are among nearly 3,000 names of men, women, and children killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993, inscribed at the 9/11 Memorial (Levin, Thorpe, LeVeen, Pohlmann).

Levin’s classmates established the Neil D. Levin ’76 Public Service Endowment Fund in his honor. The fund provides stipends for students engaged in summer internships in public service or the nonprofit sector. Also, the Class of 1976 Room in Pfenning Alumni Center is dedicated in his memory.

The College’s Eric R. Thorpe ’89 Memorial Fund for Community Outreach, established in his honor, supports service efforts in which he was active as a student. In addition, a campus bench (above) honors his memory.

The profiles below appeared in the New York Times series Portraits of Grief in the weeks following the attacks. (Copyright 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.)

* * * * *

Neil D. Levin: A Consensus Builder

Neil D. Levin had plenty of friends in important places: two of them, Gov. George E. Pataki of New York and Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco of New Jersey, made him executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He watched over New York City’s three major airports, its port facilities, most of the area’s bridges and tunnel crossings, as well as the agency’s crown jewel: the World Trade Center.

In his career, Neil was appointed to other high-level posts, first as state banking commissioner and then as state insurance commissioner. He was chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of New York and a vice president at Goldman Sachs.

But arguably the most important appointment Neil ever received was one arranged by Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, with an assist from Claudia Cohen, then Mr. D’Amato’s girlfriend: a blind date with Christine Ann Ferer, a style correspondent for NBC. The two were married in May 1996. “Neil was part of my family,” Mr. D’Amato said. He added that Neil was a consensus builder – a trait that helped him significantly on one of his latest projects, as head of the Commission on the Recovery of Holocaust Victims’ Assets, which arranged for restitution of property taken from families during World War II.

* * * * *

Eric R. (Rick) Thorpe: Ball Carrier on Wall Street

The booming voice, competitiveness and self-assurance that helped Eric Thorpe become the star quarterback of his undefeated high school football team in Wilbraham, Mass., served him well on Wall Street. Mr. Thorpe, 35, known as Rick, was one of the top salesmen at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

But Mr. Thorpe kept business success in perspective. He helped run a soup kitchen during college, served as a Big Brother and participated in Hands Together, an anti-poverty program in Haiti. Having grown up in a close family – he referred to his father, Raymond, as his best friend and called him nearly every day – Mr. Thorpe was thrilled when his wife, Linda, gave birth to their daughter, Alexis, last year.

Through it all coursed a nonstop sense of humor. Not even Mr. Thorpe’s parents escaped his fondness for nicknames, and he enjoyed initiating phone calls with a disguised voice. “He teased everyone, including me,” said Thomas Michaud, Mr. Thorpe’s boss.

* * * * *

Jeff LeVeen: A Teenage Rocker at Heart

Father of Elizabeth A. LeVeen ’98

See them there, those five adult children at the Dave Matthews Band concert? The ones huddled together, mortified? And note that blissful, aging teenager next to them, about 55 actually, in khaki pants and Docksiders, blue eyes blazing as he jumps up and down, bellowing his request: “‘Proudest Monkey!’ ‘Proudest Monkey!’”

By day, Jeff LeVeen of Plandome, N.Y., was a chieftain in the financial world, a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, an Ivy Leaguer and the owner of two well-appointed homes and a golf handicap of 3. By night, he was a rock groupie who attended nearly a dozen Dave Matthews concerts a year.

You allowed a father like that his nuttiness. He plunked down and listened to Phish because one son asked him to. He negotiated with his wife, Christine, about discipline, pleading for leniency. He swept up his bucketful of kids to take them fishing, clothes shopping, to N.B.A. games.

He kept his privileged background and considerable achievements to himself, but boasted like crazy about the children. A happy man with a year-round tan, he would sing, “Now I am the proudest monkey you’ve ever seen!”

* * * * *

William H. Pohlmann: Living Every Day as the Last

Father of Craig J. Pohlmann ’96

The night William H. Pohlmann met Linda Fata in a bar at Rockefeller Center in April 1973, he told her he just knew they would end up married. They did, seven months later. The children came quickly: Craig, now 27, Christopher, 26, and Darren, 23.

But Mr. Pohlmann, who was born in the Bronx, also sensed that he would die young. “He was devastated by his father’s death when he was 15, and always thought he wasn’t going to get much time with his own children,” Mrs. Pohlmann said.

And so, Mr. Pohlmann lived every day as if it were his last. He coached his children in Little League baseball and in soccer. He helped them with homework. He worked hard, but played harder. He was funny and, his wife said, when he drank, even funnier. He liked to have big family dinners and backyard barbecues with neighbors and friends.

At 56, he was still a volunteer firefighter and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. Mr. Pohlmann, a lawyer, worked as an assistant deputy commissioner for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in the trade center. But his real love was politics. He was a perennial Republican candidate in Ardsley, N.Y., where he lived for 28 years. He lost every time.

“It was very difficult for him to lose,” Mrs. Pohlmann said. “But what can you do? He always kept going.”

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