01 Dec 2001
September 11: A Community Reflectsby Susan Young;Deborah BlaggTopics:
events of Tuesday have touched everyone deeply in some way, and we are
all struggling to find hope in the face of despair.”
—Dean Kim B. Clark
As it has so often on important occasions in Harvard Business
School's 93-year history, the green in front of Baker Library
served as a gathering place on September 14, when the campus community
came together for a noontime memorial service honoring those lost
in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Under gray skies, a steady
rain fell on students, faculty, and staff members who stood silently
as Baker Library's bells tolled in tandem with those across
the river at Harvard College and at other locations throughout
Speaking on behalf of Dean Kim B. Clark, who was
in New Mexico and unable to return due to airline travel restrictions,
longtime faculty member Professor James I. Cash followed this
period of silent reflection with remarks underscoring the importance
of community during times of national tragedy. "These types
of circumstances, as horrific as they may be, serve to remind
us of how blessed we are to be members of this wonderful HBS community,"
Cash said. "As we deal with these events, the strength and
support each one of us receives from this community are very important.
I want to thank all of you for participating in this support system
and for sustaining the unique set of values that defines HBS.
"Stacey M. Childress (MBA '00), director
of the HBS Initiative
on Social Enterprise, shared the podium with Cash. She elaborated
on the community theme, noting, "I've been touched by
the dedication with which my former classmates checked on one
another's safety and also by the well wishes that have come
in from the extended HBS network around the world. We stand together
here today as part of a truly global community, one that represents
and respects the best of our collective backgrounds and traditions
and that is a living example of how people from all over the world
can come together around a set of common values, and though not
always agreeing— sometimes even vehemently disagreeing — can
work toward a common understanding. Together we pray for the victims
of this tragedy and hold their families, friends, and colleagues
in our hearts."
Scenes from the September 14 campus memorial service where Jim Cash and Stacey Childress (at right) spoke eloquently of the importance of community in difficult times.
Photos by Thomas J. Fitzsimmons
A Week Like No Other
The memorial service came at the end of a week like
no other in the School's history, as those who work and study
at HBS joined the rest of the world in trying to comprehend the
events of September 11. Normal campus activities were suspended
on that day to allow students, faculty, and staff time to follow
events as they unfolded and to check on the safety of family and
friends. Across the University, emergency grief counseling and
other services were made available to those in need, and community
gatherings were organized to encourage shared reflection and support.
The Class of 1959 Chapel became a gathering place for those wanting
a quiet space for prayer and contemplation, and in the late afternoon,
many members of the community came together outside the chapel
to share their grief in an observance led by Father Thomas Patrick
Doyle (HBS '03), a former rector and adjunct professor of
business ethics at Notre Dame.
With heightened campus security in place, MBA and
Executive Education classes resumed on September 12, but in the
days that followed, the focus of formal and informal discourse
at HBS was on terrorism, personal loss, patriotism, the importance
of diversity, and how best to reach out to those directly affected
by the attacks. Classroom discussions became even more challenging,
as students struggled with uncertainty, grief, and anger. Groups
of students came together outside of class to discuss their reactions
to the tragedy and to share emotional support. Food and clothing
drives were organized on campus, and the School set up a matching
fund for contributions made by students, faculty, and staff to
the American Red Cross Liberty Fund and The September 11th Fund
of the United Way. In addition, online message boards were set
up almost immediately to enable concerned alumni to check on the
status of classmates, colleagues, and friends.
see my family, my neighborhood, my classmates, my countrymen,
and even the entire free world pull closer together and
seek deeper meaning in their lives because of this seemingly
—Todd Berkley (MBA '93)
Still unable to fly home, Dean Clark, who had been
in close contact with the School's administration throughout
the week, sent a message of support and encouragement to the HBS
community on September 13, offering his sympathy to those who
had lost loved ones and his thanks to those who had volunteered
assistance. He also counseled the community to continue to rely
on each other for support. "The events of Tuesday have touched
everyone in some way, and we are all struggling to find hope in
the face of despair," Clark noted. "As we look to the
future, one thing is clear: We will need to draw continuing support
from the communities in which we live and work. This means we
must be particularly sensitive, caring, and understanding of the
concerns of everyone around us. Our campus reflects the world,
bringing together people of different backgrounds and beliefs.
Such diversity enriches our daily experiences. I would ask that
you accept and cherish this diversity and help one another through
the weeks ahead."
Moving Forward Upon his return to campus, Clark
checked in with several alumni who were directly affected by the
tragedy and met with groups of students and staff. He held a special
faculty meeting on September 17 to discuss ways to address the
events of September 11 on an academic level. A number of proposals
emerged, including discussion groups organized by students and
facilitated by faculty; efforts to develop new case materials
or to tailor existing materials, teaching plans, or class discussions
to address the tragedy and its aftermath; HBS-sponsored panel
discussions on topics such as the economic impact of the tragedy,
globalization, and international relations; and a new internal
Web site intended to deepen the community's knowledge about
topics such as U.S.-Middle East relations and terrorism, as well
as country histories, key profiles, and a collection of international
By mid-September, Senior Associate Dean and MBA
Program Chair W. Carl Kester told students that normal grading
and attendance requirements— which had been affected by the
tragedy— would be reimposed. "As a community, we are
still struggling to come to terms with the impact the tragedies
have had, and will continue to have, on our lives," Kester
noted, acknowledging that some students would still need additional
support before resuming regular activities.
On September 28, Professor Richard S. Tedlow led
a discussion in Aldrich that allowed students, faculty, and staff
to share their reactions to the tragedy and collectively to address
the question, "What do you do now?" A number of students
voiced their reactions in the pages of the Harbus.
Along with expressions of patriotism and cautions against ethnic
stereotyping and giving in to feelings of hate, the weekly paper
carried articles that pointed to an abrupt shift in priorities.
"On Monday, September 10, we worried about permanent class-seat
selection," wrote Daniel A. Shanoff (HBS '02) in the
September 17 edition. "We sweated the early-term cold call.
…The common metaphor we all bank on— that HBS is our
own little oasis away from the 'real world'— was
pierced. It's hard to believe our year will re-form itself
in the way it was before." Shanoff also wondered what the
MBA Class of '42 might have been thinking about "right
around first-term exams in December 1941, when the attack on Pearl
Harbor plunged the country into World War."
As students struggled with a new sense of vulnerability,
a number of faculty speculated in public forums about the idea
of the global economy returning to "business as usual."
On the HBS Working Knowledge Web
portal, Professor Emeritus James L. Heskett asked readers
reflecting on September 11 to ponder "the implications of
a possible loss of certain freedoms, its impact on free enterprise,
and its effect on global enterprise." "How great are
the security costs— at global, national, organizational, and
personal levels— needed to achieve the 'peace of mind'
with which we did business on September 10?" Heskett asked,
and he received many thoughtful responses.
On September 17, the day the stock market opened
for the first time after the attacks, Professor Rosabeth Moss
Kanter watched the Dow plunge as she began a guest appearance
on The Connection public radio program. An expert on how businesses
adapt to change, Kanter predicted that in the long run, "strong
companies and strong people will prevail," and urged U.S.
policymakers to think beyond short-term solutions — such as
cutting interest rates and letting companies buy back their own
stocks — to more lasting measures — such as creating new
forms of employment and enhancing security — that will stimulate
the economy and restore confidence in the business community.
In an interview in the September 24 edition of
the Harbus, Dean Clark was asked if he believed the mood on campus would be
"somber" for the rest of the year. "I don't
think somber is the right word," he replied, "but perhaps
a little more reflective." Clark predicted that the community
would "pull together," and said that the tragedy of
September 11 "has reinforced for me the importance of what
"When something this tragic and this big happens,
it tends to strip away complacency, the taking of things for granted,
the day-to-day façade that we build around our lives,"
Clark observed. "I think there will be a sense of real meaning
during the year."
In the same Harbus issue, Rick Leimsider (HBS '03),
a new arrival on campus who had "never written to a newspaper
before," challenged his fellow students to think about the
decisions the country's leaders will be making in the coming
months, decisions "that will shape our world for years, possibly
decades to come." Leimsider urged reflection and debate on
topics such as civilian casualties in time of war, personal freedom
vs. security, U.S.-international relations, and the diversity
of backgrounds and beliefs that characterize "the American
Perhaps expressing the feelings of many of his classmates,
Leimsider noted how empowered he felt upon arriving at Harvard
to begin his graduate studies and how quickly that feeling gave
way to helplessness as he spent several frantic hours trying to
locate his mother in New York City on the morning of September
11 (she was safe). "I have to believe that we have some power
to make a difference, and with that power comes responsibility
and obligation," wrote Leimsider. "Now, more than ever,
our community needs our ambition and great expectations."
Alumni Message Boards
While the campus community came together to cope
in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, members of the extended
HBS community did the same. Given that two of the attacks centered
on the nation's — and some would say the world's
— financial center, there was an immediate outpouring of concern
for alumni casualties. Realizing that HBS alumni would need a
mechanism for getting in touch with each other, within two days
of the attacks the School had set up electronic message boards
for each MBA and Executive Education class and sent out an e-mail
to all graduates urging them to use this resource to communicate
news and to share their reactions.
“"The common metaphor we all bank on —that HBS is our
own little oasis away from the 'real world'
—Daniel A. Shanoff (MBA '02)
The response was swift, as alumni from all over
the world logged on and posted messages. While all expressed shock
and sorrow, many graduates, including Clive R. Foskett (58th PMD),
reported on the solidarity outside the United States. "Everyone
in my company has just observed three minutes of silence,"
wrote Foskett from London. "This has affected all our lives,
and here in the U.K., our thoughts and prayers go out to those
who have lost their lives or family members." Others urged
understanding and tolerance. After expressing his deep sympathy,
Ismail A. Douiri (MBA '99) reported on the mood in Morocco.
"It is one of mourning and shock. It is also one of fear
that the Western world may at any point associate these acts with
the Arab or Muslim culture. Those who acted so cowardly have nothing
to do with our culture. The overwhelming majority of the Arab
and Muslim world does not identify with these murderers and cannot
understand them nor explain their acts."
Some used the message boards to offer classmates
(and often friends and family of classmates) a place to stay if
needed, propose ideas of how people could help, and express their
hope. After reassuring her sectionmates that she was fine, Bertina
G. Ceccarelli (MBA '93) reported that she now works with
the United Way of New York City. "As you can imagine, we've
been working around the clock assessing the most critical emergency
needs," she wrote. "We've helped establish The
September 11th Fund. Individual contributions are coming in from
all over the world. In such a troubling moment, it's reassuring
to know there are so many deeply concerned people ready to help."
The majority of messages posted were of two kinds:
alumni reporting on classmates they had heard from and alumni
asking about friends they worried might have been victims. Individuals
diligently compiled lists of people with whom they had been in
contact and frantically sent messages asking about people they
hadn't reached, most of which were soon answered with reassurances
Tragically, there were casualties among the classes
to report, and alumni used the message boards to share their grief.
Members of the Class of 1993's Section B responded to news
of the death of sectionmate Waleed Iskandar by asking for people
to share their memories. "Waleed was a vibrant part of our
section, and I'm comforted by the good memories I have,"
wrote M. Evan McDonnell, who, like many of his classmates, remembered
"the parties on his rooftop" but also Iskander's
"kindness in loaning me a sweatshirt at our first section
event." "I will miss his strength, his intelligence,
his easygoing smile," wrote Todd Berkley, who later commented
on the way the tragedy had already changed the world: "I
see my family, my neighborhood, my classmates, my countrymen,
and even the entire free world pull closer together and seek deeper
meaning in their lives because of this seemingly senseless tragedy."
Similarly, members of the Class of 1991 expressed
their grief over the loss of Andy Kates. After conveying feelings
of loss, sectionmate Jeffrey S. Shell wrote, "As I am sure
many of you are doing, I am grappling for the positive threads
in the huge negative clouds of doom. One positive is that times
like these reorient us all toward what is important. In the everyday
grind of work responsibilities, it is easy to forget the importance
of family and friends."
Alumni Take Action
Once they began to recover from the initial shock
of the events of September 11, HBS alumni started putting their
skills to work. Whether donating money, volunteering their services,
organizing blood drives, hosting fundraisers for relief operations,
or offering free goods and services, there are countless instances
of HBS graduates who mobilized to help.
Henry M. ("Hank") Paulson, Jr. (MBA '70),
chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, was one of the first Wall Street
executives to announce that his firm would make a significant
contribution to the relief effort. After committing $10 million
in support, Paulson praised the efforts of others. "We owe
a huge debt to our firemen, policemen, rescue workers, doctors,
nurses, and others who have done so much for our country, our
city, and all of us," he commented in a September 16 New
York Times article.
Merrill Lynch's chairman David H. Komansky
(107th AMP) and president and COO E. Stanley
O'Neal (MBA '78), both of whom were displaced from
offices in the World Financial Center, also announced a $10 million
corporate donation from their firm. Komansky urged caution in
reopening the New York Stock Exchange. "I felt very strongly
that the worst thing we could do was open prematurely and then
be forced to close because we weren't really prepared,"
he told the New York Times on the Sunday after the attacks. When
trading resumed on September 17, O'Neal praised Merrill's
employees for how quickly they adapted to their new offices in
Jersey City. "I have told these people they have done the
incredible," the Times reported on September 18, "and
the bad news is that they have to get up and do it again tomorrow."
As the economic recovery process began, HBS alumni
spoke about the importance of getting back on track. Three weeks
after the attacks, General Motors president and CEO G. Richard
Wagoner, Jr. (MBA '77), told the Wall Street Journal, "The
best way we can respond to acts of terrorism on our soil is to
keep the economy strong, our employees working, our factories
humming, our economy growing, our nation thriving. We're
part of the economy, and what we do influences the economy."
GM's initial responses included donating $1 million to the
American Red Cross Foundation, matching employee donations (which
exceeded $1 million), and offering the services of a fleet of
vehicles to aid the recovery effort.Creativity and business savvy
were apparent in the responses of many HBS graduates. eBay CEO
Meg Whitman (MBA '79), for example, launched an effort to
raise $100 million in one hundred days called Auction for America.
In addition to donating $1 million to the relief effort, 100 percent
of the proceeds from all items sold on this special section of
the eBay Web site will go to one of four relief agencies.
Not everyone could organize efforts on such a large
scale, but the smaller entrepreneurial contributions of numerous
alumni did not go unnoticed. As CEO of Impromptu Gourmet, a start-up
approaching its one-year anniversary, Max Polaner (MBA '97)
knew that his company could not afford a huge donation, but he
decided to give all proceeds for a month from dessert purchases
to the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, which will provide
aid to the families of victims of the tragedy who worked in food
service throughout the WTC complex.
is a great tribute to the School that a group of people
who were last together as a full group more than twenty
years ago still cares enough about each other to reach
—Laura Petrucci (MBA '80)
Another grassroots initiative, the 91101 Group,
was organized by Daniel F. Curran (MBA '00), a research associate
at HBS, along with colleagues and classmates from HBS and the
Kennedy School of Government. The group set up a Web site that they will use to raise money to support the long-term educational
needs of the children of the victims— particularly those
who were uninsured. The site will also help young professionals
use their skills to provide services to those affected by the
Members of Section F in the Class of 1995 gathered
donations for the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund.
In an e-mail to classmates, they explained, "These men and
women moved selflessly into the buildings, and there is no eloquence
that properly captures the balance of the lives they saved and
the sadness of their own fate." The response was overwhelming;
the group collected $61,000 from 106 classmates.
A Message from Dean Clark
On September 14, Dean Clark sent an e-mail to all
HBS graduates. "Along with the rest of the world, those of
us who work and study at Harvard Business School are devastated
by the recent terrorist attacks that have afflicted the United
States," he wrote. Clark went on to express condolences to
those who had lost loved ones and provide information on how to
share news of fellow alumni.
Clark was overwhelmed by the outpouring of personal,
heartfelt, informative, and inspiring responses from the School's
alumni. Hundreds of letters came in from dozens of countries around
the world. Writing from Athens, Greece, Charalambos A. Vlachoutsicos
(MBA '54) expressed condolences and added words of encouragement:
"We are confident that America's collective resolve
and ability will prevail." From Safat, Kuwait, banker AbdulAziz
I. Al-Nabhan (68th PMD) also sent support. "In cooperation
with the American embassy in Kuwait, we opened a new charity account
to receive donations from those who believe in the power of altruism
and contribution." Kamran Kashani (DBA '74), from Lausanne,
Switzerland, noted that the tragedy "will be remembered as
a low point in human history," while Jose Guerra (AMP:ISMP
155) reported from Mexico that the rest of the world sees the
United States "as a synonym for freedom and safety"
and praised the country's "unity, faith, prayers, and
fellowship." Writing from Kathmandu, Nepal, Roop Jyoti (MBA
'76) observed, "I have no doubt that [America] will
bounce back rapidly from the calamity that has befallen it, on
the strength of the moral values and the democratic character
of its people."
Nearer to home, many graduates who live in New York
offered their perspectives. Having just visited Ground Zero, David
("Bull") Gurfein (MBA '00) said the destruction
was "unimaginable" and described the tour he was given
by a police officer. "He brought me to tears several times
as he recounted stories of what he had personally seen as a first
responder," wrote Gurfein, an officer in the Marine Corps
Reserve who was recalled recently to active duty. Neil Smith (MBA
'84), who lives in nearby Manhasset, wrote, "Unfortunately,
it's towns like ours that have been hit very badly by this
terrible and senseless act. From commuting professionals to the
firefighters and police who make up the fabric of our everyday
life here, this horror has taken an enormous toll. My son has
only sixteen kids in his pre-K class. Two of them are now fatherless.
In one street, just a few blocks away, there are four missing
Also in New York, Nan J. Morrison (MBA '87)
articulated the importance of finding ways to assist the relief
effort as well as the difficulty of not being able to do so. "It
is frustrating to be here and realize that with fifteen years
of experience, if you cannot operate a backhoe, heal a burn, or
counsel someone, you are rather helpless in the immediate sense,"
she wrote, adding that she was volunteering to aid business recovery
efforts. "This tragedy will have far-reaching effects on
the New York economy— it is not the 'rich people'
as Professor Crum used to call us, it is the people who work in
restaurants, drive cabs, and provide services all over their city."
Many who responded praised the strong ties they
felt toward HBS. "Once again, the strength of the HBS community
has demonstrated itself," wrote Jennifer Josephs (MBA '96).
"Within hours of the tragedy, emails from all over the world
arrived expressing concern and asking for information. Early on
Wednesday, my section had heard from almost everyone, and Steve
Abernethy had published a list of individuals who had been contacted.
The speed and caring with which this was done was overwhelming."
Similarly, Laura Petrucci (MBA '80) reported that her section
had accounted for all of its members: "It is a great tribute
to the School that a group of people who were last together as
a full group more than twenty years ago still cares enough about
each other to reach out." John M. Hereford (MBA '95)
managed to add a bit of self-deprecating humor during this difficult
time by reporting that he had used the HBS Web site to account
for all his friends. "It is typical that HBS would end up
as the nerve center for helping people through this crisis. Our
Type A, overachieving ways do come in handy at times.
As this issue of the Bulletin went to press, the five alumni
listed below had been confirmed as casualties of the September
11 terrorist attacks. Their loss has been felt deeply throughout
the community, and numerous tributes from classmates appear in
this issue's Class Notes. The School also mourns the many
friends, colleagues, and family members from the extended HBS
community who lost their lives on September 11.
Anthony Demas (39th PMD) of New York City and Madison,
Connecticut, was managing director at Aon Corporation, a Chicago-based
insurance and risk-management firm with offices in the World Trade
Demas was a graduate of Pratt Institute and served as a first lieutenant
in the U.S. Army. Before joining Aon, he was a managing director
at Marsh & McLennan, where he worked for 31 years. Robert
P. Williams, a friend and colleague, called Demas "a natural
leader and mentor." At Demas's memorial service, corporate
chairmen stood side by side with employees of his neighborhood
pharmacy and dry cleaners. Williams also mentioned Demas's
devotion to his wife and family: "Tony loved his family more
than any man I have ever known. When his boys were christened,
he proclaimed it the happiest day of his life."
Demas is survived by his wife, Violetta, and their twin eight-year-old
sons, Nicholas and Andrew; his mother, Athanassia Demas; his sister,
Eve Zelle; and a large, extended family.
Donations in his memory may be sent to The Annunciation Greek
Orthodox Church, attn. Anthony Demas Memorial Fund, 302 West 91st
St., New York, New York 10024.
Steven L. Glick (MBA '89) of Greenwich, Connecticut,
was a managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and
headed the e-Client effort at the firm's institutional e-commerce
group, CSFBNext. He was attending a conference on the 106th floor
of the World Trade Center's north tower on the morning of
to joining CSFB earlier this year, Glick was a senior partner
at Greenwich Associates, where he led the global fixed income,
foreign exchange, and derivatives consulting practice. He was
a graduate of Northwestern University.
Classmates and colleagues held Glick in the highest esteem. Vikram
S. Gandhi (MBA '89) called him a "wonderful human being,"
and Theodore H. Barnett (MBA '89) said he was a "bright,
happy, and caring person." François J. Maisonrouge
(MBA '85), a colleague at CSFB, noted that Glick was widely
respected across his industry and that "he always had a word
of encouragement for others."
Glick is survived by his wife, Mari (also MBA '89), and
their two young children, Colin and Courtney; his mother, Ester
Glick; sisters Ellen and Stefanie; and brothers Gordon and Robert.
Memorial donations may be made to The Greenwich Chapter of the
American Red Cross, 231 East Putnam Ave., Greenwich, Connecticut
Waleed J. Iskandar (MBA '93) of Boston and London
was a consultant with the Monitor Group. He was a passenger on
American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of September 11.
in Beirut, Iskandar came to the United States in 1984 and graduated
from Stanford University in 1989. He was a Baker Scholar at HBS.
At Monitor, he worked extensively in the United States, Korea,
and Europe. He established the firm's Istanbul office, helped
develop Monitor's Central/ Eastern European and Middle East
operations, and recently headed the company's digital strategy
unit in Europe.
Classmates remembered Iskandar's intelligence, humor, and
easygoing smile; his "amazing" insights on cases; his
positive outlook on life; and his many friendships that extended
far beyond his section. Sectionmate Steven A. Cahillane noted,
"He was impossible to forget . . . one of the really, really
Iskandar leaves his parents, Joseph and Samia Iskandar; his fiancée,
Nicolette Cavaleros; his brother Sany; his sister May Marconet;
and six nephews and nieces.
Andrew K. Kates (MBA '91) of New York City was senior
managing director at the securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald. He
was in his office in the World Trade Center's north tower
on the morning of September 11.
graduate of Wesleyan University, Kates was an accomplished athlete
and marathon runner. HBS classmate Richard J. Coppola described
him as "warm and funny— the most well-liked person in
our section." He was a frequent guest-columnist for his section's
notes in the Bulletin. A tribute in Fortune magazine noted that
Kates "made everything more fun, more exciting, for those
around him." In a Philadelphia Inquirer article, his brother
Paul emphasized his devotion to his wife and children. "Everybody
he touched, everybody he met— whether it was for three days,
three weeks, or three decades— was affected by him,"
Kates leaves his wife, Emily Terry, and their three children,
Hannah, Lucy, and Henry; his mother, Judith Kates; and brothers
Seth and Paul.
Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Rodeph Sholom,
7 West 83rd St., New York, New York 10024.
Donald A. Peterson (2nd OPM) of Spring Lake, New Jersey,
was the retired president of Continental Electric Company in Newark,
New Jersey. He was traveling with his wife, Jean, on United Airlines
Flight 93 when it crashed near Somerset, Pennsylvania, on September
received a bachelor's degree from MIT and a master's
degree from Rutgers University. He was vice chairman of the board
of the Howard Savings Institution, served on the New Jersey Board
of Higher Education, and was a director for the Clara Maass Medical
Center in Belleville, New Jersey. In retirement, Peterson devoted
himself to community service and spent much of his time helping
those in recovery from drug addiction. Both he and his wife were
active church members and had traveled to missions in the West
The couple are survived by six children: David, Hamilton, and
Royster Peterson; and Jennifer, Grace, and Catherine Price. Peterson
is also survived by two brothers, Bob and Richard, and a sister,
Memorial funds have been established at America's Keswick,
601 Route 530, Whiting, New Jersey 08759 and Helping Hand Pregnancy
Care Center, 837 Broad St., Shrewsbury, New Jersey 07702.