Symposium Commemorating the First Anniversary of September 11

Symposium September 11, 2002

Few would argue that the tragic events of September 11, 2001 did not devastate this nation and forever change the course of its destiny. Thousands of innocent lives were senselessly lost to an enemy that shamelessly preys on vulnerable and defenseless civilians. In response, the world community has joined together in unanimously denouncing these horrible acts of misguided hatred and destruction, and the United States has initiated a global campaign to stamp out the roots of terrorism.

If we reflect for a moment, however, and look beyond the sheer horror and grief engendered by this atrocious attack, we observe a subtle though remarkable phenomenon: human beings across the globe are coming together and uniting like never before, transcending race, gender, culture, and religion to help and support one another emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Indeed, an unmistakable spirit of camaraderie, compassion, and sacrifice has emerged from the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center as we collectively seek to cope with and understand an event that seems to defy logic.

Throughout history, tragedy and loss have served as powerful, albeit painful, catalysts for uniting human beings and bringing out the very best in each of us. It is precisely in this light that the Virtue Foundation has organized and arranged for a multidisciplinary symposium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to exploring how, one year after the devastation of September 11, this nation has dealt with adversity, and in what ways we have managed to grow and mature from this immense tragedy.

The symposium will present a series of panel discussions by prominent individuals from all sectors of life, including the arts, academia, business, government, science, and the media. The panelists will examine the causes and ramifications of September 11 from a variety of perspectives, as well as the changes it has brought about in their own personal lives. The event will conclude with a spectacular musical program sponsored by UNESCO as part of its “Cultural Diversity through Music: United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage.”

Philippe de Montebello, Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations
Maxwell L. Anderson, Director, Whitney Museum of American Art
Vishakha N. Desai, Senior Vice President and Director, Museum and Cultural Programs, Asia Society
Lourdes Lopez, Executive Director, The George Balanchine Foundation
Glenn D. Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art
Greil Marcus, Author and Music Critic; Former Music Editor, Rolling Stone and Creem
John Rockwell, Senior Cultural Correspondent, The New York Times
Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, Director of Research, IBM
Professor Larry Hench, Co-Director, Tissue Engineering Center, Imperial College, U.K.
Dr. William T. Newsome, Professor of Neurobiology, Stanford University
Dr. Joan LaRovere, Associate Director, Pediatric Intensive Care, Royal Brompton Hospital, U.K.
Kenneth L. Woodward, Religion and Culture Editor, Newsweek
Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General, Communications and Public Information, United Nations
Alison Bernstein, Vice-President, Education, Media, Arts & Culture Program, Ford Foundation
Cathleen P. Black, President, Hearst Magazines
Gordon R. Conway, President, Rockefeller Foundation
Donald Marron, Chairman, UBS America; Vice Chairman of Board of Trustees, MoMA
Lynn S. Paine, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
John C. Whitehead, Director, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
Richard Falk, Professor of Constitutional Law, Princeton University
Former New York State Senator Roy M. Goodman, President and CEO, U.N. Development Corporation
Ambassador William Luers, Director, United Nations Association of the United States of America
Ambassador Nicholas Platt, President, Asia Society
Dr. Peter Weiss, Vice-President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Michael Wolff, Award-Winning Author and Columnist, New York Magazine
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City (via webcast)
Jim Fowler, Host, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
Dr. Jones Kyazze, Director, UNESCO New York
Marisa Berenson, Actress; Goodwill Ambassador, UNESCO
Soheil Nasseri, Classical Concert Pianist

Location: Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
The Metropolitan Museum of Art


  • Philippe de Montebello
  • Joseph Verner Reed
  • Maxwell L. Anderson
  • Vishakha N. Desai
  • Lourdes Lopez
  • Glenn D. Lowry
  • Greil Marcus
  • John Rockwell
  • Praveen Chaudhari
  • Larry Hench
  • William T. Newsome
  • Joan LaRovere
  • Kenneth L. Woodward
  • Shashi Tharoor
  • Alison Bernstein
  • Cathleen P. Black
  • Gordon R. Conway
  • Donald Marron
  • Lynn S. Paine
  • John C. Whitehead
  • Richard Falk
  • Roy M. Goodman
  • William Luers
  • Nicholas Platt
  • Peter Weiss
  • Michael Wolff
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Jim Fowler
  • Jones Kyazze
  • Marisa Berenson
  • Soheil Nasseri


  • Wednesday, September 11, 2002