UH to house World Trade Center beam
The debris from the World Trade Center towers became symbols of the attack. All across America, these pieces remain in memorials. UH became one of two Texas locations to receive a piece, after the Student Government Association applied for it in 2009.
“Back in 2009, the president at the time was Kenneth Fomunung. A student came up to him from the Student Video Network and said, ‘Hey, I heard we can get a piece of the World Trade Center. I heard that they’re giving them out to different organizations and things of that nature. You should look in to it,’” said SGA President Cedric Bandoh.
“Long story short, they applied for a piece in the New Jersey Port Authority, and after going through a series of paperwork and other things, they got the assistance of the then-vice president of Student Affairs, Dr. Elwyn Lee. And we were eventually approved for a piece of the World Trade Center, which was very, very exciting news.”
The artifact, a large piece of steel that was broken off during the September 11 attacks, will be raised and lighted and turned into a memorial at the New UC.
“The Student Government Association really led the effort. They wanted to have it as a site of history, of the country, and also they wanted it to take place adjacent to a large student traffic area so that it’s just a memorial of sorts that represents the history of our country,” said Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Kowalka.
Bandoh hopes the artifact will become an iconic stop for anyone visiting Houston.
“The University is the heart of Houston, and it really is right in the center, so (UH) is one of the better places, in my opinion, to have such a special artifact … right smack dab in the middle of Houston,” Bandoh said.
The artifact is set to be unveiled along with Phase One of the New UC in January.