- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 11, 2004

The class of 1986 from Mount St. Mary’s University has established a scholarship fund in memory of a classmate who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The 269 graduates plan to raise $50,000 by the time they celebrate their 20-year reunion in 2006 for the “American Heroes Scholarship Fund.” The fund is in memory of Andrew Alameno — a classmate and a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald who was killed inside one of the center’s twin towers in New York City.

“The idea for the scholarship was inspired by Andy’s memory, and it acknowledges the heroism of the men and women who protect our freedoms on a daily basis,” said John Singleton, chairman of the scholarship committee.

The scholarship money will be available to Mount St. Mary’s students and those applying to the school whose parents work as police officers, firefighters or in the U.S. armed services.

“This is a great way to say thank you,” said Mr. Singleton, 40. “When parents are deciding on which school to send their children, they will know that Mount St. Mary’s acknowledges those professions.”

The class has so far raised $14,000, and Mr. Singleton expects donations to exceed the goal by 2006.

“I suppose, like all Americans, I want to make something good [out of] something that was so terrible,” said Alice Rooney Mahoney, a Mount St. Mary’s alumna.

Mrs. Mahoney, 40, lives on the outskirts of Philadelphia with her husband, Sean, who also graduated from the university. When she was asked by the scholarship committee to lend a hand — she didn’t hesitate.

“I’m happy to call as many people [as possible] to raise money that will hopefully be able to help someone get an education at a wonderful, wonderful college,” said Mrs. Mahoney, a homemaker and mother of six. “My husband and I feel a very strong connection to the Mount. I feel fortunate that I’m able to be a part of this and, hopefully, some good will come of it.”

Mr. Singleton, a telecommunications consultant who lives in Arnold, Md., with his wife, Karen, and three children described his alma mater as “a small liberal arts college with a patriotic streak.”

The school, in Emmitsburg, Md., near Gettysburg, Pa., has a small student body of about 1,400.

“It is the oldest, independent Catholic university in the nation,” he said. “Its archives are full of artifacts and history linking it to one of the American Civil War’s bloodiest clashes — the Battle of Gettysburg.”

The university is also deeply rooted in another part of American history. On September 11 the tiny school in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains lost five graduates.

When news of the deaths of Mr. Alameno, then 37, and others reached the university, administrators and alumni immediately mobilized. A Mass was offered, telephones started to ring and e-mails were sent throughout the country.

“We’re a close-knit class,” Mr. Singleton said. “We played a lot of intramural sports together and we talk to each other frequently. The Mount is known to have a devoted alumni. So when we put out the word about the scholarship, the idea was embraced quickly.”

Class members presented the scholarship idea this spring to university President Thomas H. Powell in anticipation of the 2006 reunion.

“Dr. Powell was sensitive to our proposal and very receptive,” Mr. Singleton said. “Our class wanted to make a gift to the Mount that would go beyond a normal gift — one that would make a significant difference through the years and not only address our school community, but our country.”

A special American flag carefully stored away will be hung from the rafters of the university’s student union building, Patriot Hall, during a ceremony on alumni weekend.

The flag was given by Pete Monahan (Class of 1974), and it flew over the Gettysburg battlefield on the day of the September 11 attacks.

He took down the flag the day after the attack, in which four commercial airplanes were hijacked. Two were flown into the trade center’s twin towers, another was flown into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pa. About 3,000 people were killed.

“I folded up the flag and put it away after 9/11,” said Mr. Monahan, the owner of Larson’s Quality Inn in Gettysburg. “I knew it might be used for something special someday.”

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