21, No. 6, Sept. 20, 2001
Cantor: together in
community pulls together in time of tragedy
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; firstname.lastname@example.org
by Bill Wiegand
a moment of silence, Chancellor Nancy Cantor addressed the
thousands of students and faculty and staff members who gathered
at the student-organized vigil on the UI Quad Sept. 14. Classes
were canceled from noon to 1 p.m. for the event, which was
prompted by President Bush's call for a national hour of reflection
in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. The event
included music and reflections by students as well as comments
Through heads bowed
in silent reflection, voices raised in song and an outpouring of donations,
members of the UI community responded last week to the events of Sept.
11 when terrorists flew U.S. airliners into the World Trade Center in
New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania countryside.
Like millions of others around the country, indeed around the world,
faculty and staff members and students at the UIs Urbana campus
reached out to one another for comfort and support while offering aid
to victims and their families affected by Tuesdays disasters.
As members of the Urbana campus community began reeling from news accounts
of the disasters, university President James J. Stukel sent an e-mail
message to faculty, staff and students expressing his sorrow at the
days events. The campus new chancellor, Nancy Cantor, also
sent mass e-mail messages reassuring members of the campus community
that the UI was not believed to be a target for similar catastrophes
and that classes would remain in session. Cantor urged recipients to
use their shared sorrow and feelings of vulnerability as a catalyst
for unification rather than divisiveness and retaliation.
Members of the campus community responded to the tragedies with an outpouring
of financial support. More than $57,000 was raised in a two-day campuswide
fund drive organized by the Staff Advisory Council and the Council of
Academic Professionals to benefit relief efforts by the American Red
Cross. At least 18 collection points were established around campus
to accept monetary donations, according to Mary Ellen OShaughnessey,
associate director, Office of Academic Human Resources.
Although a similar fund drive was held by Illini Radio Group, Champaign,
in the parking lot at the Assembly Hall, members of the two campus organizations
believed that establishing multiple collection sites around campus would
encourage more members of the campus community to contribute.
"I think its
fabulous," L. Denise Hendricks, assistant vice president for human
resources, said about the support shown by campus members. "Many
people appreciated having the boxes in locations they could access easily."
by Bill Wiegand
Nancy Cantor (right) with student Anita Zavala, a member of
Lamba Tau Omega, one of the organizing groups of the Sept.
14 vigil on the Quad.
"We have seen
a response like weve never seen before," said Barbara Payne,
executive director of the Illini Prairie Chapter of the American Red
Cross, Urbana. "Ive seen this community pull together with
a passion unlike anything Ive ever seen before."
Members of the campus community turned to one another for support, solace
and inspiration during commemorative services around campus held the
evening of Sept. 13 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and at
noon on the UI Quad on Sept. 14, which had been designated a national
day of prayer and remembrance by President George W. Bush.
Instead of hosting Illinois-Louisville football game fans on Sept. 16,
Memorial Stadium hosted a smaller crowd of people who chose to join
together for a communitywide commemorative program. Titled "A Community
Remembers," the program included addresses by Stukel, Cantor and
other community and student leaders as well as music by the Marching
A listing of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities related to
the tragedies can be accessed from the "Opportunities for Engagement
and Reflection Events Calendar" link on the universitys
main Web page at www.uiuc.edu.