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Fall 2001


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This is a difÄcult, painful time for our nation and for every American. September 11, 2001 was a day of unspeakable horror, shock, disbelief, and death that shook our very foundations as a free society. In the days that followed the tragedy, the effects were felt at the University of Vermont as they were throughout the world. We awaited word of the many alumni and parents of our students who work and live in the devastated areas. Hope came with the news of those who were safe and sadness when we learned the names of those who perished.

Now we grieve for all who were taken. Now we try to understand, to reflect on the meaning of the senseless acts, and to consider our response — as a nation, as a community, and as individuals.
As I told the students, faculty, and staff gathered in Ira Allen Chapel on September 12, we are blessed to be a part of an extraordinary educational community. A place where debate, rational thought, and new ideas are valued and celebrated. A place where, both collectively and individually, we can work to make a positive difference

We are about education. That’s not just about preparing for a job. It’s about the opportunity, and the serious responsibility to look beyond ourselves, to show the way to making this community, this nation, and this world a better place. And to be leaders, not bystanders, in that vital quest.
Now is the time to do what we do best at the University of Vermont. To share ideas, perspectives, and concerns, both in and out of class. To debate issues based on evidence and knowledge. To support each other and mentor our students. To make sure we do not place blame without facts, or blame the many for the acts of a few. To reach out to those who need our help. To support our national leaders.
Now is the time to honor our educational traditions and come together as a university.

This is a dire situation, with tragic consequences for so many Americans. But as members of a vibrant community, and as individuals with responsibilities to one another, it is our duty to think carefully, believe in, and work vigorously toward the goals of justice, understanding, and ultimately, peace.
For all of us, I ask that we embrace knowledge, insight, and wisdom as our guides as we face the difficult challenges and choices ahead.

—Edwin Colodny, interim president

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