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Remembering 9/11 with Michael Benfante

By Ethan Shea

"Michael Benfante"

In honor of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Villanova University will be hosting several events to promote solemn reflection and conversation on the topic of 9/11. The keynote speaker of this series of events will be Michael Benfante, a 9/11 survivor and author of the book Reluctant Hero.

"Reluctant Hero Book Cover"In the midst of the attacks, Benfante and a co-worker carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 flights of stairs in the North Tower, a 96-minute process that allowed the three to escape just minutes before the building collapsed. Benfante was immediately greeted by cameras as he exited the building, and before long, he was speaking with Oprah Winfrey on national television. Reluctant Hero details not only his act of heroism, but the emotional turmoil Benfante faced in the aftermath of the attacks.

Falvey Memorial Library welcomes you to borrow this captivating book hereReluctant Hero has recently been purchased by Falvey, and will soon be available in our own collection as well as through InterLibrary Loan. The book is currently on display on the first floor of the Library, along with several other books and newspaper clips regarding the 9/11 attacks. Feel free to visit this display at your leisure.

Villanova invites you to come listen to Michael Benfante speak at the Riley Ellipse at 3 p.m. on Sept. 10. Refreshments will follow. If it is to rain, the event will be held in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center.

In addition to Benfante’s speech, the following events will be taking place during the days leading up to the 20th anniversary of 9/11:

Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion

On Sept. 8, Tuan Samahon, JD, Catherine Warrick, PhD, and Joe Evans, a doctoral student of Theology, will take part in a discussion moderated by Tim Horner, DPhil. This event will take place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Attend via this Zoom link.

“9/11 Human Library”: Firsthand Stories and Reflections

In a series of 15-minute, small-group conversations, attendees will have the opportunity to hear fellow Villanovans share personal experiences regarding 9/11. This event will be carried out in the President’s Lounge at the Connelly Center at 4 p.m. on Sept. 9."Stained glass window in Corr Hall Chapel in hornor of those who died in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001"

Interfaith Vigil

After Mr. Benfante’s speech, at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, there will be a candlelight procession as well as readings and music from different faith traditions on the Rowen Campus Green. In the case of rain, this event will be held in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center.

9/11 Memorial Display

Almost 3,000 people, including 15 Villanova alumni were killed during the attacks. Fourteen Villanovans were in the World Trade Center and one was working as a flight attendant on Flight 175. In the Presidents’ Lounge, between Sept. 8 and Sept. 10, there will be a memorial display to honor these victims. Additionally, the stained glass window in Corr Hall Chapel, which is dedicated to these 15 victims, is a permanent reminder of the lives tragically lost on this fateful day.

Additionally, Falvey Memorial Library has created a display on the first floor to remember those lost that day, including those from our own community.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Celebrate Earth Week 2021 With Campus Events

Celebrate Earth Week 2021 with the campus events below!

Pre-Earth Week Events

Sustainable Living Conversations: Students

  • Sustainable Fashion—Friday, April 9 at 1 p.m.; Led by: Sarah Wisniewski ’22 Psychology and Delaina Castillo ’21 Environmental Science.
  • Eating Vegan or Vegetarian on Campus—Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.; Led by: Amelia Robinson ’21 Psychology and Jameson Parker ’21 Finance.

Sustainable Living Conversations: Faculty and Staff

  • Mastering a Vegetarian Diet—Wednesday, April 14 at 12 p.m.; Led by: Deena Weisberg, Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Steven Goldsmith, Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment.
  • Explore Renewable Energy Solutions for Your Home—Friday, April 16 at 12 p.m.; Led by: Christopher Kilby, Professor of Economics, and Scott Dressler, Professor of Economics.

Earth Week Events 

Monday, April 19

  • Climate (De)Regulation in the Courts—Tune in from 4-5 p.m. to hear from Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law Professor Todd Aagaard on the state of regulating climate change pollutants in the United States.

Wednesday, April 21

Thursday, April 22

  • Campus Tree Tour—11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., meet under Corr Arch. Learn about all the amazing trees on campus from Villanova’s Horticulturalist Hugh Weldon. Pre-registration is required.
  • Keynote Address—Join us at 5:30 p.m. to hear from renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, an endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law and Co-Director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University, on “Christians, Climate, and our Culture in the US.” Pre-registration is required.
  • Quizzo: Earth Day Edition—9-10:30 p.m.; Enjoy your weekly Quizzo with a green twist. The questions for the night won’t be the only thing centered around the Earth Day theme, so will the food and prizes.

Friday, April 23

  • Earth Day Food Truck Friday—Sustainability themed food trucks will be set up along the Campus Green area (right by the road along Falvey) and will be handing out samples to students between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Saturday, April 24

  • Sustainability Market on the Green—Enjoy an evening market filled with sustainability vendors and products from 6-9 p.m. Free giveaways, along with items for sale, will fill out our first Sustainability Market on the Green.
  • Open Mic For Justice—The open mic is a space for a wide range of solo or group artistic expressions. Music, song, dramatic readings, comedy, sketches and skits, dance, and beyond are welcome. We ask that all performances somehow address an issue of social justice. Performances should not exceed five minutes. The event will take place from 7-8:50 p.m. and 9-10:50 p.m. on the green near the Riley Ellipse.

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Foto Friday: Celebrate Black History Month on Campus

By Kallie Stahl

Flyer of Black History Month events.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 


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Last Modified: January 31, 2020