September 14, 2021
This would have been a more fitting post last Saturday, but I just happened upon this today.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 66 men and women who worked for the investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners on the 104th floor in the World Trade Center lost their lives. They left 76 children who had not yet achieved college age. In the days that followed, the company established a foundation to pay college tuition for all 76. 54 of them have had their college tuition paid so far, with 22 young men and women still eligible.
The 54 who are now attending or have attended college attended four-year colleges and universities such as Stanford to Notre Dame, while some have attended community colleges and technical institutes.
Four students have attended Boston College, the alma mater of Welles Crowther, the 24-year-old Sandler O’Neill employee who saved as many as 12 people in the south tower before running back upstairs to save more people and was never seen again.
The youngest child eligible was born six weeks after September 11. When that child graduates from college, the Sandler O’Neill Foundation will cease to exist.
Its legacy will linger for a very long time.