Penn State marks 20th commemoration of 9/11 with events and memorials

flag placement at Old Main for 9/11

A flag was placed on Old Main on the University Park campus of Penn State

Credit: Patrick Mansell


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In remembrance of those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and their tragic aftermath, events and resources are being offered for Penn State campus and community members across the commonwealth for the 20th commemoration.

“Each year, as the Penn State community and nation mourns this tragedy, we are reminded of our strength and resilience as a nation and as a society," said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. "We must continue to collectively stand together and do our utmost to provide mutual support and comfort during this time. We deeply miss our loved ones and should continue to act with honor and dignity for their legacies. I hope all Penn Staters take time this week, and on the day itself, to reflect, remember and look to the future.” 

From Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, Penn State will display an American flag on the front of Old Main at University Park in memory of all lost alumni, friends, family and peers. Additionally, on Sept. 11, the chimes in the Old Main bell tower will ring in remembrance of the four devastating events that occurred on that day in 2001. The Old Main chimes will ring at:

  • 8:46 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 11 that was crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York.
  • 9:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 175 that was crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York.
  • 9:37 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 77 that was crashed into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
  • 10:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The University community understands that the event and its remembrance may be painful for many individuals. As a reminder, Penn State offers various health and wellness resources for those affiliated with the University, including the Center for Ethical and Spiritual Development, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Employee Assistance Program, and the Penn State Hotline (1-800-560-1637). 

“I actively encourage individuals that may be affected by trauma related to Sept. 11 to reach out to University units providing services to obtain support," said Natalie DePalma, co-interim senior director for Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services. "I want our Penn State community to know that they are not alone during this difficult time and that anniversaries of traumatic events can be particularly challenging to navigate. Staff across the University are ready to help and guide those that may be struggling via various wellness programs, including one-on-one services.” 


A number of events recognizing the 20th anniversary of attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have been planned, including:  

A Reflection on 9/11 and its Impact on Law and International Affairs

Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs will host “A Reflection on 9/11 and its Impact on Law and International Affairs” at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, via Zoom. The event will cover 9/11 and its aftermath from the perspectives of immigration, national security, surveillance and veterans' affairs.   

The panel features James W. Houck, retired vice admiral and interim dean of Penn State Law at University Park and the School of International Affairs; Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; Margaret Hu, associate dean for non-JD programs and co-hire, Institute for Computational and Data Sciences; and Michele Vollmer, associate dean for clinics and experiential learning and director of the Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic.

Event registration is available via Penn State Law.

Sept. 11 football game 

In memory of those who died in the tragedy and for the efforts of all first responders, Intercollegiate Athletics and the Penn State Blue Band will be honoring their lives during the Sept. 11 home football game against Ball State. Memorials include a moment of silence and a special halftime show. The kickoff for the game is 3:30 p.m.

How 9/11 Changed American Journalism

The Penn State Bellisario College of Communications is hosting a roundtable discussion on "How 9/11 Changed American Journalism” from 7-8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27, in the Freeman Auditorium (HUB) at University Park. It is a free, public event sponsored by the Bellisario College, The Daily Collegian and The Collegian Alumni Interest Group. 

The session will be moderated by Walter Middlebrook, the Foster Professor of Practice in the Department of Journalism. Speakers include Scott Dodd, The New York Times; Jerry Schwartz, Associated Press; and Mary Beth Long, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and professor of practice for the 2021-22 academic year in the Penn State School of International Affairs.


Penn State Abington will have a Sept. 11 Remembrance and Moment of Silence on Sept. 10 at 12:15 p.m. on the Lares Lawn to commemorate the 20th anniversary. Margo DelliCarpini, chancellor, will make brief remarks followed by a moment of silence. 

Students, faculty and staff at Penn State Altoona are invited to join in a remembrance walk around the Reflecting Pond at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, to remember and honor the sacrifices of our service members and their families. 

Penn State Altoona also will host "Our Shared Stories" at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, in the Laurel Pavilion. Attendees may offer stories and memories of that day and its aftermath to discuss the shared experience of trauma and how it created unity. More information is available via Penn State News.

Penn State DuBois will have a memorial service at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, at the Schoch Plaza featuring a student speaker, a DuBois area Honor Guard presentation, and a moment of silence. Additionally, from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, the DuBois campus will host a day of service in collaboration with Clearfield County Master Gardeners to assist with landscaping needs in the community.  

Penn State Hazleton Student Services and Engagement will host students on trips to the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 11, and the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 12.  

Penn State Greater Allegheny will host a service project for students on Sept. 10, from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. in the Concourse of the Student Community Center. Additionally, on Sept. 11, in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., the campus will be playing a Sept. 11 documentary.

Penn State Mont Alto  will hold a campus moment of silence at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8, on Wiestling Patio. Additionally, as a way of engaging in the National Day of Service, students are asked to make thank you cards and posters for local first responders — all of whom are volunteers — that will be delivered on Sept. 11.

TheMilitary Law Caucus  will hold a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, on the Lewis Katz Building lawn at University Park, outside the building's front entrance. Flags will be placed on the lawn, and brief statements will follow a moment of silence.

Penn State Shenango’s Lartz Memorial Library created a display of related magazines, nonfiction and fiction books that prompt reflection and commemoration of Sept. 11. Community members can visit the library or connect with library staff at [email protected] for more information about the collection.  


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State (OLLI)

"We Are...The Stories We Tell" will be an in-person and remote course offered from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Outreach Building at University Park. Hosted by Susan Russell, associate professor in the School of Theatre at Penn State, the course will dive into how stories connect us as humans as Russell details how she and her fellow Broadway actors lived through Sept. 11, 2001.

"America Attacked: Flight 93" will be hosted by Gregory Zaborowski, education specialist for Flight 93 National Memorial, live via Zoom from the Flight 93 monument from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16. This course focuses on the events related to United Airlines Flight 93, the plane that did not strike the terrorists' intended target on Sept. 11, 2001. Attendees can learn about the FBI's role and what happened aboard Flight 93. The instructor will share the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, Flight 93 seating charts, phone calls from those aboard the flight, and photographs of the crash site.

Fees for courses are $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers. More information is available via Penn State Outreach.

OLLI also will host Remembering Heroes: Flight 93 National Memorial and Quecreek Mine Rescue Site on Monday, Oct. 4. Attendees will travel to the Flight 93 National Memorial to honor the passengers and crew who, on Sept. 11, 2001, showed unity, courage and defiance in the face of adversity. This tour will include the Visitor Center, Wall of Names, and Tower of Voices. Community members age 50 and over are invited. More information is available via Penn State Outreach