Marietta College Commemoration of 9/11

Dear Marietta College Community,

By now, many of you may be aware that Marietta College has been the topic of discussion on a number of websites and on Fox News this morning in regards to plans for tomorrow’s on-campus observance of the 10th anniversary of the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.

Recognizing that much of the coverage has reflected negatively on the College, it is important that we share with you accurate and current information so that you will have a clear picture of the steps taken by the institution to aid our student organizations in moving forward with their ceremonies and commemorations.  


Perhaps the most important area of confusion to address surrounds the allegation the College threatened to prevent one of this weekend’s 9/11 commemorative ceremonies unless it included the flags of other nations as a part of a display in the campus amphitheater.


To be clear, the College never intended to make the approval of the ceremony contingent on the inclusion of the flags of other nations. We regret there has been a misunderstanding about this.


In fact the College has worked closely with the student organization that has been planning this particular event to make sure it would occur Sunday without interruption. The College’s administration has always been and remains supportive of this student initiative.


What the administration did do was request that this particular commemorative activity include flags of other nations to symbolize the losses of other countries around the world as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This display was negotiated with the student organization and the ceremony is slated to go forward.


For some context, i.e. that the ceremony in question is not the only observance scheduled for campus, please visit


It is unfortunate that any misunderstanding over specific arrangements might in some way overshadow our efforts to pause and remember those who we have lost, those who sacrificed so much to respond to the needs of others and those who survived and continue to deserve our support and compassion.


We regret any confusion caused by the way in which we have sought to support the interests and concerns of our student organizations in their observance of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy and we hope this update provides helpful background information.


Obviously, our goal is for you to feel pride in your Marietta College experience and education and it is our belief that the ultimate outcome of this weekend’s ceremonies will be consistent with that objective.


Jean Scott