UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Winter 2002
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From the Associate Vice President

Alumni continue to share their
feelings about tragic events

During recent visits to New York City and Washington, D.C., I was able to talk directly with alumni who had witnessed the attacks. We talked about how they had escaped the buildings. We talked about how life has changed and how, in many ways, it has stayed the same. And we talked about the seven UB alumni and the seven parents of current UB students who lost their lives during this tragedy. We heard from Andrew R. Ansbro, B.S. '95, a New York City firefighter, who went into the World Trade Center without regard for his own personal safety to assist others. (To read his account, please go to our website, http://www.alumni.buffalo.edu.)

Shep E. Gordon, B.A. '68, of Maui, Hawaii, who is cochair of Alive Films and a member of the Tibet Fund board of directors, among his many other endeavors, shared his thoughts with us, too. Even though Shep witnessed these events from afar, his words go to the heart of the UB family experience that bonds all UB alumni. I would like to share with you his note:

    It is sometimes easy to numb oneself to the great misery that exists on this planet because of its great beauty and tranquillity. From my home in Maui, it is hard to find anything to relate to the horror of the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedies—they are too big, too evil. After hearing about the deaths of seven fellow graduates who walked the same paths I walked while at UB, I was struck anew by this journey we call living. We all walk paths—sometimes the same, sometimes different—but they all go to the same inevitable destination: death. This inevitability makes the quality of the journey all the more important since we know where the path will lead.

    As I look back on my path, I feel more grateful than ever that my journey took me to UB. The friends, the freedom, the loss of fear about this big world—like a beautiful tunnel, UB led me from the sheltered living of home to a place in the global arena. UB taught me how to use whatever tools I possess in a better way, how to share joy and tears with fellow human beings, and that every action has real consequences. Thank you, UB, for making my journey a better one through your lessons and your friendships. What more can we ask of any person or institution?

    More than 30 years has passed since my graduation, yet when I feel a need to think of a safe place to hide from the evil in the world, I don't think of the womb—I think of UB. The temperature may be colder, but there's no warmer place in my heart.

Thank you, Shep.

Robert O. Davies
Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations

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