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9/11 Remembrance 2018
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Dear Brothers in Chi Psi:


Today marks 17 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The men who will join our Bonds later this fall were likely infants that day, and next academic year we will begin to welcome new Brothers born into a post-September 11 reality. All of us were touched by the events of that day in various ways, some directly and some indirectly. I certainly was. There are physical reminders in my office that bring back fond memories of friends that were lost that day or because of that day. I am grateful for them.


Four Chi Psi Brothers died on September 11, 2001 along with almost 3,000 of their fellow Americans. They were: 


Michael Anthony Tanner, Psi 1979

Cmdr. Robert Allen Schlegel, Omicron Delta 1985

Mark Kendall Bingham, Delta Delta 1993

Adam Shelby White, Psi Delta 1996


Chi Psi has remembered these Brothers in various ways over the years, and I would like to share a bit about each man with you today.


 Michael Anthony Tanner, Psi 1979


Mike Tanner was a big guy with a big heart from Secaucus, NJ. He was a caring family man, a winning quarterback, a generous friend and a committed colleague. Mike was 44 when he died at One World Trade Center, where he worked for 17 years as a trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He played quarterback at Cornell, where he led the Big Red to a winning season in 1979. Don Fanelli, Psi '76, Mike's teammate in both high school and college, described Mike as having "a cannon for an arm, and a hard runner who was built more like an offensive guard than a quarterback." 


While Mike's nickname at The Lodge was “Roscoe” (a reference to Roscoe Tanner, a ranked tennis player in the 70's), his colleagues at Cantor jokingly referred to him as “Tiny.” Both nicknames referred to a man that Brothers, friends and colleagues viewed as a big teddy bear; a strong and generous guy with a sense of humor who was fun to be around. Mike's teammates from St. Joseph's, where they won the New Jersey state parochial title with him at quarterback, still get together annually for a dinner in his honor - last year, 28 of his friends attended.


Most of all, Mike was a man who deeply cared for his family. He lived a few blocks from his mother, Mary, and would drop in often on his way to work. She described Mike as a great son who loved his family. His wife, Michele, who met Mike when he was just 20 and married him 10 years later, has shared that he would bring her coffee “every day of my married life” before he left the house at 6 a.m. He coached softball and basketball for his daughter Sasha, who was 13 in 2001, and would run football drills in the living room with his daughter Gianna, who was just 3 years old at the time. Seventeen years later, Mike would have been so proud of Sasha, a Cornell alumna and Gianna, a junior at Penn State.


Cmdr. Robert Allen Schlegel, USN, Omicron Delta 1985


Rob was originally from Gray, ME and resided in Alexandria, VA at the time of his death. He was a journalism major who was often at the center of any Lodge debates and just as often the perpetrator of the best pranks. He tried his hand at beat reporting in Lewiston, ME for a couple of years after graduation, but a strong family history compelled him to enter the Navy via Officers' Candidate School.


His was a fast-rising Naval career, having served as Executive Officer onboard the Destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, awarded a promotion to the rank of Commander, and accepted his final assignment to the Fleet Planning Branch in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Shortly before his death, Rob had been selected for Command at Sea, meaning he was destined to fight the war on terror as a commanding officer of a U.S. Navy ship, had he not been killed in the attacks on the Pentagon on September 11. 




A photo of Brother Schlegel’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery taken this morning by Henry Dewing, OD '85.

  He is survived by his wife, Dawn, and remembered with a plaque placed on the Washington and Lee War Memorial Gate and by an annual cash stipend awarded to a W&L student who undertakes studies in foreign affairs or world peace. Additionally, a flagpole on the front lawn of his Lodge was dedicated to his memory during the 161st Chi Psi Convention, initially put into service flying a U.S. Flag donated by his shipmates aboard the USS Radford.  




Mark Kendall Bingham, Delta Delta 1993

A national-championship rugby player at Cal, Mark was a magnetic personality during his time at Delta Delta and led his Alpha as #1. After Berkeley, Mark was instrumental in establishing two leading gay rugby clubs: the San Francisco Fog and Gotham Knights. The biennial world championship of LGBTQIA+ and inclusive rugby clubs is named in honor of Mark. Chi Psi was grateful to sponsor one of their events when Nashville hosted the Bingham Cup in 2016. Professionally, Mark established a public relations firm in the Bay Area and opened a satellite office in New York City.

On September 11, 2001 Mark was on his way to San Francisco from New York City to attend the wedding of Joe Salama, DD `93, on United Flight 93. Mark and others (including Jeremy Glick, brother of Jonah, OD `90) made the decision to storm the cockpit. They overpowered the hijackers and the plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA. Before being forced down, the plane was heading toward Washington D.C., the White House or U.S. Capitol Building its likely target. Each year since 2012, we have held a Friday morning 5K run in honor and memory of Mark at our Annual Convention. In 2011, Mark’s mom, Alice, accepted the posthumously conferred Albert S. Bard Award and spoke at the Convention. Just this week, a memorial with 40 aluminum chimes was dedicated in Shanksville to the United 93 victims.





Adam Shelby White, Psi Delta 1996

Adam grew up in Atlanta, GA, a child who packed all he could into his waking hours. A lifelong friend of Adam’s was Ryan Means, YD `96. The two met at Christ the King Elementary and reunited at the Lodge in the fall of 1992. Ryan, who joined the Army and became a member of the Special Forces in part to avenge Adam’s death, wrote the following in his journal in 2003: “Adam had a profound effect on so many people. It is impossible to not be envious of the life that he led on a constant daily basis as it seems that every person he came into contact with had an acute awareness that they had a brush with Greatness. No doubt that kid was a shooting star with unlimited potential.”

Ryan died in 2009 due to complications from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his bile duct. Post-college life took Adam to San Francisco, and then to New York, where he, 26 in 2001, was developing an electronic trading program in carbon dioxide for Cantor Fitzgerald.



Proposed 9/11 Memorial Window


In April 2018, we dedicated a new stained-glass window at the Central Office in honor and memory of Malcolm D. “Jack” Jeffrey, Theta 1954 (Williams). You may have seen photos of the window, which was a gift from Jack’s sister Jill Kingsley, and the dedication event in the most recent P&G. The Fraternity’s 1871 Memorial Plate was the inspiration for the window, which was designed and constructed by Nashville artist John Bruno. In July, The Chi Psi Educational Trust awarded $112,000 in scholarship awards in honor and memory of several different Brothers to 43 deserving undergraduate and graduate students.



Now, 17 years after Mike’s, Rob’s, Mark’s, and Adam’s deaths, we have a unique opportunity to etch their names into the history of Chi Psi. There is a group of Brothers currently discussing how to accomplish both the commissioning of a new stained-glass window at the Central Office, and the creation of a scholarship in their honor. I invite you to offer support and suggestions on this project by sending a note to or by calling me at 615-405-7623.  


Yours in the Bonds, 


Sam Bessey, HD `97, #23


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