Statement by NYU President John Sexton

“Of the many lessons that came out of the grievous events we now call ‘9/11,’ none is more powerful than this: that this nation’s people and its great and venerable institutions cannot be defeated or undone by a senseless act of terrorism. And however painful and destructive that violence may be, we will always find a way to act in partnership to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move forward again.

“That is why we have gathered today with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and with our congressional representatives: to reaffirm a shared belief in this city and commitment to support one another.

“The collapse of the World Trade Center damaged two public schools in properties that belong to NYU, and it forced the dislocation of NYU students who lived in residence halls in lower Manhattan. In the immediate aftermath, our priorities were to take care of the NYU students and to begin working with the Board of Education to get their schools back on-line.

“With assistance from the New York Congressional delegation, FEMA looked at all we had done and joined in our ‘chain of support.’ As we helped out students, so they helped us. It wasn’t easy – there was no precedent for a tragedy of this size, and the policies never anticipated this kind of an attack. But everyone proceeded with the good faith idea that we should make this work out, and that we should get it right, not just for NYU but for all those affected by the tragic events of that day.

“On September 11, 2001, everyone in the world became a New Yorker, and every New Yorker became a rescue worker. Today, we recognize that fine aspect of the human spirit that emerged from 9/11: the idea that all of us, individually and institutionally, sought some way to help.

“NYU is indivisible from this city, from this part of this city. We are not going anywhere. In fact, we will stay here and make this a better and stronger city. Today, that is made a little easier, and this University is grateful for the advocacy on our behalf taken up by our friends in Congress, by the efforts by our friends at FEMA, and by the determined work of those University administrators who were involved with this.”

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848