News from the UNC General Alumni Association
When there were no more chairs, more than 100 people stood or sat on the floor to hear panelists.
IIIIIIIIIIII )\\ An audio presentation of "Understanding
IIIIIIIIIIII 'J) the Attack on America" is available on
the GAA ffib site at alumni.unc.edul
learning/ understanding.htm. Additional
coverage of the Sept. 11 attack and its impact
on the Carolina community can befound at
alumni. unc.edu / memory.htm
"Can I ask a question... ?" a first-year stu-
dent from Maryland asked shyly as the room
began to fill. "Are students allowed in to this?"
The answer, less so than the program, provided
an opportunity for the General Alumni
Association to articulate again what it is in
business to do: Connect the people who care
most about the University with others, with
the institution and with ideas that enrich our
lives. The program was part of the GAA's
occasional "Think Fast" series, which provides
timely forums on breaking news stories that
dominate the public conscience.
If the assembly was unusually quiet, it also
reflected the various conflicts that all Americans
experienced in the days and weeks after Sept.
11. In the question-and-answer session, which
could have extended throughout the night
without resolving the debate, individuals shared
their passion for a peaceful remedy alongside
others who felt retaliation was the only option.
The seven panelists, led by moderator Ferrel
Guillory, director ofUNC's Program on
Southern Politics, Media and Public Life, pre-
sented diverse views, reflected on historic trends
and possible outcomes, and engaged audience
members struggling with unprecedented emo-
tions and fears.
Flagler Business School Professor Jim Smith,
who with his wife, Linda, had been guests in the
hotel between the two World Trade Center
towers on the morning of Sept. 11; he was
preparing for a conference. The television and
radio stations covering the GAA event inter-
viewed the Smiths in front of the Alumni
Center, capturing their story of escaping the area
to be known as Ground Zero and improvising
their return to Chapel Hill. So in his remarks,
Smith focused on the area for which he is best
known: What happens next in the economy?
The terrorists' ambitions "won't work,"
Smith stated. Rather than undermine the U.S.
economy," 9-11 is going to turn out to be the
emergency call to resurrect the U.S. economy,
get us back into a phenomenal growth mode
and drag the rest of the world up as well.
"The United States ofAmerica is going to
be back - better than ever before, stronger
than ever before, safer than ever before, and I
hope without starting a war just to show that
we're mighty," he continued."We can be mighty
by having a velvet glove and not exercising
it.... We have crack armed forces, a wonderful
country and a wonderful way oflife, and no
lunatic is going to destroy that."
(See Alumni Forum, Page 62)
C AROLINA Al.UMNI REVIEW 61