COLLEGE PRESIDENTS SHARE THEIR VIEWS
Looking Back at 9/11: A Transformative Moment at John Jay College
Sixty-eight members of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice community — mainly New York City firefighters and police officers — lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While John Jay College of Criminal Justice makes no claim to having suffered more than did any other institution on 9/11, the impact of that day resonated deeply here, a place whose bedrock is its strong commitment to public service.
Looking back, as we gather in real and virtual communities to mark the 10th anniversary of that terrible day, it is clear that 9/11 serves not merely as a memorial date for John Jay, but an ongoing call to action.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, our faculty and administration determined that the best memorial to those who perished would be to honor the nobility of their sacrifice in positive and constructive ways. To that end, over the past 10 years, this College has established a variety of initiatives, including academic programs, research centers, scholarships and more. These and other current or planned efforts are also contributing to John Jay’s ongoing drive to attract many of the world’s leading scholars.
To date, our efforts have included the creation of a new Center on Terrorism. This Center produces noteworthy research, publications and conferences such as the upcoming 9/11 After Ten Years: Cultural, Personal, and Historical Perspectives. In addition, the Center offers a unique graduate-level certificate program in terrorism studies.
The College also now offers new graduate majors in terrorism-related fields: a Master of Science in Protection Management, and a Master of Arts in International Crime and Justice. A special alumni scholarship in the field of terrorism studies has been created.
For our undergraduates, the College hosts the Justice Scholars program, which offers a number of high-achieving students renewable scholarships for study and research at John Jay. The program was created in 2002 by Princeton University to honor the memory of the public service heroes of 9/11 who had studied at John Jay.
Among the newest 9/11-related initiatives at John Jay are the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies and the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis. These institutes are already producing and disseminating high-quality scholarly research in vitally important areas.
John Jay’s experience on 9/11 has become an indelible part of our history that goes beyond the tragic loss of so many students and colleagues. In the years since, the value of our historic mission of “educating for justice” has never seemed so obvious, so significant and so imperative. The cadre of students who have graduated were provided with a new vision of an education in justice that has imbued them with the skills, insights and passion to become positive agents of change.
Now, as we look to our future with the opening of a dazzling new campus building this fall, we will also remember those we have lost. The atrium of the building will house a 9/11 memorial that includes a sculpture created from a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, on which will be inscribed the names of those we lost. This memorial, along with the programs and initiatives we continue to implement, will speak to our unique mission and our commitment to both honor the memories of those who died and to remedy social problems of our city, nation and world. #