Rowan University to dedicate student-designed 9/11 Memorial
On the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Rowan University will dedicate a 9/11 Memorial in remembrance of those lost, including two Rowan alumni. A ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. on Memorial Circle just off of Route 322 at the center of Rowan’s Glassboro campus.
Designed and installed by University students, with the help of Rowan employees, the 50- by 70-foot monument features pentagon- and square-shaped planter beds to signify the tragedies at the Pentagon and World Trade Center towers. The square planters contain flagpoles, while the pentagon planter holds a symbolic Callery pear tree. Called the “Survivor Tree,” a lifeless and blackened Callery pear tree was found among the ground zero rubble and nursed back to health in a Bronx, N.Y., park. Today, more than four times its size in 2001, that same tree stands in Memorial Plaza in Manhattan.
Rowan University President Dr. Ali Houshmand approached engineering faculty and students with the challenge of designing a 9/11 memorial. Patrick Lynch, a junior civil engineering student from Parsippany, N.J., jumped at the opportunity.
“My design somewhat mirrors the World Trade Center memorial in New York,” said Lynch. “And I wanted it to include some kind of overall symbol. That’s why the pavers are laid out as a unity ribbon.”
Lynch not only worked to develop the concept and design, he also worked with the Division of University Advancement to raise funds.
“It was good for people to hear a student’s voice,” Lynch said. “I was able to explain the project and they could hear my passion for it.”
The 9/11 Memorial was funded through senior class gifts from the Classes of 2009 and 2012, as well as 154 gifts and pledges to the Rowan University Foundation from friends and family of the Class of 2012. The project also received major in-kind donations from companies such as EP Henry Corporation, Brida Stone, Inc., Chammings Electric, Inc., Colonial Land Design, Crown Pipeline Construction Co., Eviroprobe Services, Inc., Frank J. Fazzio & Sons, Inc., George Sparks Electric, G.P. Freni Custom Landscapes, Groff’s Mill Pond Nursery, Inc., Johnson Sod Farm, Peach Country Tractor, Recreation Resource, Inc., Trico Equipment Services, LLC, and Tuckahoe Nurseries, Inc. The businesses donated funds, labor and materials, including brick pavers, trees and shrubs, benches, irrigation equipment, and wiring and light fixtures. A plaque listing the donors’ names will appear between the two square planter beds.
Guests will include the Rowan and Glassboro communities, as well as local emergency responders, Rowan alumni and project donors.
“I spoke at last year’s Sept. 11 memorial walk and expressed my desire to have a big memorial dedication a year from then,” said Lynch. “And here we are. I’ve learned so much and met so many great people along the way.”
The new monument is the second Sept. 11 memorial on campus. In 2002, the University planted and dedicated an oak tree in remembrance of Rowan alumni Daphne Pouletsos, Class of 1976, and Lance Tumulty, Class of 1992, who both lost their lives in the attacks. The tree, donated by the Rowan Alumni Association, and the plaque, donated by Board of Trustees chairman James Gruccio, are located near Meditation Walk behind Savitz Hall. Students and staff often leave flowers in the memory of Ms. Pouletsos, Mr. Tumulty and the other victims.