Alumni Georgetown Alumni Missing Amid Trade Center Chaos

By Anne Rittman Hoya Staff Writer

Members of the Georgetown University alumni community are still missing after Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. At press time, there was one confirmed death, law alumna Lisa J. Raines (L ’82), who died aboard American Airlines flight 77 when it collided with the Pentagon.

More than 100 Georgetown alumni work in the World Trade Center and about 20 work in the Pentagon, according to Bill Reynolds (COL ’79), associate vice president for alumni relations.

The university does not yet have specific names of individuals who are missing.

“Georgetown University and the McDonough School of Business is well-represented in the New York financial district,” McDonough School of Business Dean Christopher Puto said. “It is premature to discuss specific individuals, but our heart goes out to each of our alumni and their family who are affected by this tragedy.”

Most information made available to Office of Alumni and University Relations has not been officially confirmed, said Scott Biddy, associate vice president for university development. Biddy said he was pleased with the outpouring of information about survivors, but noted that unless reports are officially confirmed they cannot be tallied.

Alumni based in New York are also finding it difficult to locate each other. “Everyone is scattered across the city,” Whitney Meyer (MSB ’01) said. Meyer works at Bank of America’s office in midtown Manhattan.

“I’ve only made contact with a few people, and through them I have learned about tons of others,” she said. “But we don’t know whom we haven’t heard from. any people went to Jersey City and have been evacuated from their apartments and are staying with friends. A lot of cell phones were destroyed. It’s just been very hard to get in touch with people.”

OAUR is encouraging alumni to provide any information they may have. “We are extremely concerned and as hungry for information as anyone,” Reynolds said.

Biddy underscored the possibility of error in OAUR’s computation of alumni employed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon. “There is a loose correlation between someone’s address and actually being there,” he said. any alumni choose to be listed in Georgetown’s directory with their home address, limiting OAUR’s ability to pinpoint alumni at work locations.

OAUR sent an E-mail to 45,000 alumni asking for updates and directing them to the Georgetown Web site to get information. The office is urging alumni to contact Carol Hornik, records manager for OAUR.

The university community should be aware that even if survivors have not notified former classmates, they may be alive and only notifying close family members, Reynolds said. The influx of reports has been less than torrential since the university is “not the first point of call,” he said.

Biddy noted that few people have called the office in search of former classmates, but encouraged alumni to continue to register with the university. “We are eager to have information now and will remain eager to have it,” he said.

OAUR has made several contacts and arrangements, including a conference call with the chairman of the board of regents. “There is a senior leadership team looking at all facets of the situation,” Reynolds said. “Alumni have a seat at the table to determine a response.”

– Kristin White contributed to this report.

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