Ceremony Marks Relief Efforts

J.P. Goodwin

A frequently voiced theme after the events of September 11, is that human tragedy brings people closer together through their need to help others. This process occurred at the international, national and local level. It also happened on the UMass Boston Campus.

“I’ve seen a lot of wonderful things take place on this campus recently. People really pulled together. We had a team of over 80 people, from every part of the community, helping out in the relief effort,” said Heather Dawood, president of the UMB Student Senate. Dawood was speaking at “The Commemoration Ceremony of University of Massachusetts Disaster Relief Efforts” held on October 11 in the Harbor Art Gallery.

Joining Dawood in recognizing the community’s efforts was Chancellor Jo Ann Gora, who called the ceremony “a special moment in the history of the university.” Gora noted, “That despite all the distractions they have in life, students took the time and thought and energy to organize these efforts. We are here today celebrating the initiative of student organizations.”

Director of Student Life Joyce Morgan thanked the staff and faculty for their assistance. “Being a part of the relief effort revealed the depth of caring on our campus,” she stated.

Juliette Lee, the campus coordinator for MassPIRG, addressed the commitment of UMass Boston Students. “Students here have a serious commitment to service and community. Student responses have been to get more engaged in their country at a local level,” Lee said.

“We are also grateful to the staff members of WB56, including Vice President and General Manager Vincent Manzi, Director of Creative Services Steve Ratner, and Community Affairs and Public Relations Director Kristen Holgerson who have been gracious in their support and commitment,” explained Dawood, as she presented a ceremonial big check to Stephanie Leydon, an anchor for Boston’s WB in the Morning. [The total contribution swelled to over $7,000 with a contribution from the UMB Athletic Department prior to the ceremony.

Leydon talked about the events of September 11 being “the most difficult story I’ve had to cover.” She added, “But it did give us an opportunity to meet our neighbors at UMass Boston. There is an enormous spirit on this campus. It’s incredible to think you would find the time and the money to do what you’ve done.”

The parent corporation of WB56, which matched every dollar raised with a 50-cent contribution, raised a total of $15.5 million nation-wide. One hundred percent of the money collected went to the Red Cross, SafeHavens, the Salvation Army and the New York City Police and Fire Widows Relief Fund.

The ceremony closed with Professor John Conlon leading the group in singing “Let there be Peace on Earth.”