Vaughn College hosted a Resiliency Roundtable on Thursday, September 8 bringing together students, faculty and staff to hear from aviation workers directly connected to the events of 9/11 to share their stories and how they learned to move forward after incredible loss.

The panel included American Airlines flight attendants whose colleagues were aboard Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, airport and flight service managers who experienced the attacks in New York and Boston, and veterans from Edge4Vets who shared their stories of how they developed resiliency strengths to meet challenges and make successful transitions to civilian life.

Tom Murphy, founder of Edge4Vets and author of “Reclaiming the Sky” moderated the panel and provided free copies of his book to students in attendance. “I hope what you will learn today is a process for taking back hope once something devastating happens in your life,” said Murphy.

The Roundtable was offered as a tribute to Susan M. Baer, a Vaughn College Board member and the first woman to hold the position of director of aviation running the largest airport system in the world. Baer was the first person to have managed all three major regional airports (John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty) and is a major figure in “Reclaiming the Sky” for the leadership she exhibited at Newark Airport during 9/11.

President Sharon B. DeVivo opened the event and reflected on her long relationship with Baer. “Sue was a ‘doer’ and someone who will never be forgotten for her impact on the aviation industry.”


Tom Murphy opens the resiliency roundtable discussion at Vaughn College on Thursday, September 8.