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Gone but not forgotten

UMKC honors alumnus who died in Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Sept.  11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton hosted a remembrance ceremony  on Friday, Sept. 9 in the Quad area outside of Scofield Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus.  The ceremony was dedicated to the memory of UMKC alumnus John Willett and all those who lost their lives in the attacks. Joining Chancellor Morton and UMKC campus community for the ceremony were members of John Willett’s family, including his parents Ron and Lucy Willett.

John Willett received his Master’s Degree in Economics from UMKC in 2000. In January of 2001, he moved to Jersey City, NJ, after accepting a position with COZe.com, a subsidiary of Cantor Fitzgerald in New York City.  He was at work in the company’s office on the 101st Floor of the World Trade Center north tower on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

UMKC Professor Karen Vorst, who was one of John’s instructors at UMKC, spoke at the ceremony and unveiled a new bench area on the Quad inscribed and dedicated to the memory of John Willett.  Prof. Vorst joined Chancellor Morton and the entire UMKC community in expressing the hope that this permanent remembrance will serve as a “point of reflection” and a reminder of the victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the loved ones they left behind.



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For those of us lucky to have known him, John was truly a wonderful person -- kind, generous, decent, fun-loving, smart, humble -- and much more. These words are echoed over and over in the many tributes to him.

Karen Vorst
UMKC Professor of Economics