On Welles Crowther, Boston College, and America


Boston College has produced some tremendous individuals over the years, but Welles Crowther is amongst the most.

As a native New Yorker, I remember what happened thirteen years ago today quite vividly. Welles Crowther was also a native New Yorker, and also like me, a Boston College alumnus.

Above all, however, he was an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing.

Crowther’s story is well-known on the Heights. On September 11, 2001, he worked trading equities high up in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, but when others were in need following the terrorist attacks, he rushed to help. Life after life was saved due to his heroics, yet his own came to an end that day.

Welles Crowther gave his life helping strangers, asking nothing in return. He was a true symbol of the things that are good in this world, and it is an honor that we can consider him a part of our Boston College family. The word “hero” is thrown around quite a bit these days, but in every sense of the word, Crowther actually was one.

Eagles fans also know that his trademark prop was a red bandanna, which went with him everywhere. Even on September 11, 2001 as he helped people to safety, it was with Welles Crowther, and that symbol came to represent him, his sacrifice, and the triumph of the human spirit.

On Saturday, when Boston College plays the USC Trojans at Alumni Stadium, the Eagles will wear special uniforms honoring Welles Crowther and, by extension, the oneness of the Boston College community and America at large.

On the anniversary of that terrible day, there is no more worthy person Boston College could honor.