University News

Chancellor Subbaswamy's Message on the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Chancellor Subbaswamy sent this message to the campus community on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

September 10, 2021 

Dear Campus Community,

Tomorrow marks the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an event that took more than 3,000 lives, including members of our university community, and irrevocably changed the world. It is a day seared in the hearts of so many of us, and although many of our students were not born or were too young to remember that horrific morning, all of us live with the permanence of its consequences.

The university is commemorating this solemn occasion by honoring the lives of those lost during the attacks and in its aftermath. Yesterday, at 6:30 a.m., UMass Amherst Air Force ROTC cadets conducted their physical training by running 110 flights of stairs at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, symbolizing the World Trade Center. Tomorrow, the Old Chapel bells will ring at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 10:10 a.m., marking the times of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the crash of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. A moment of silence will also be observed during the UMass-Boston College football game. 

On  September 28, I am hosting a fireside chat with Kenneth Feinberg (’67 and ’02H) and his business partner Camille Biros. Mr. Feinberg is one of the leading lawyers in the country, specializing in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He and Ms. Biros have helped administer responses to some of the most complex public crises in American history, including the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.  In 2011, Mr. Feinberg donated his voluminous personal papers, including documentation of his work on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, to the UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives. The UMass Alumni Association is sponsoring the 6 p.m. free virtual event and more information can be found online.

The Alumni Association is also featuring Kenneth Feinberg’s book, What is Life Worth, as its book club read, beginning October 15. The book has been adapted into the recently released Netflix film Worth. Information and registration are on the Alumni Association website.

In the days ahead, I ask that you join me in taking time to reflect on the significance of September 11, 2001, as we honor the lives lost that morning and the sacrifices of so many others that followed.


Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy