On September 11, 2002, American University remembered five alumni lost in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a campus-wide ceremony and the unveiling of a stone marker on the Eric Friedheim Quadrangle, between the Kogod School of Business and Battelle-Tompkins building.
The memorial includes the names of AU alumni:
- Peter Alderman (KSB/BSBA'99)
- Linda Gronlund (WCL/JD'83)
- John O'Neill (SPA/BS'74)
- Mark Schurmeier (KSB/MBA'88)
- Ernest Willcher (WCL/JD'68)
Alderman, O'Neill, and Schurmeier were at the World Trade Center; Gronlund's flight went down in Pennsylvania; and Willcher was at the Pentagon.
Besides the five alumni, numerous others including former students, relatives, and friends of AU community members also lost their lives.
The memorial is part of the September 11 Memorial Plaza, which was renovated during summer 2002 and was partially funded by a gift from the Class of 2002.
University chaplain Joe Eldridge gave an invocation at the ceremony in which he asked those gathered to, "write kindness on your heart as we find new horizons for our souls, and expanded boundaries for justice." The ceremony also included a musical reflection by the AU Chorus and a musical offering composed by Department of Performing Arts professor Alan Mandel. There were also a series of events organized that day around the theme, "Global Human Community: The Challenge and the Promise."