Barney LiftOff brings in inspirational speaker: 9/11 survivor Ari Schonbrun shares his story

Originally Posted on The Hartford Informer via UWIRE

On Sept. 11, 2001, Ari Schonbrun was 20 minutes late to work because he simply forgot to do something the night before.

He was working for Cantor Fitzgerald, and was on his way to his office on the 101 floor when Tower One was hit.

When the plane crashed its way through the building, Schonbrun was on the 78 floor waiting for the last elevator to his office.

By a true miracle he eventually made it out alive saving the lives of several other people that day.

Almost 14 years later he stood here on our campus and gave an inspirational message to the students in the Barney School of Business.

Before standing before our very own students Schonbrun wrote a book entitled “Miracles and Fate on 78”.

The book is a detailed account of the tragedy that he was personally apart of, one that changed the face of the world forever.

Every year the Barney school holds a LiftOff for not only it’s new students but also its returning students.

At this year’s LiftOff, Schonbrun explained to the students the difficulties he has had to overcome, and the horrific events that changed his life that day.

He also told these students to remember that all of the people around them are a support system, everyone from our friends to the faculty and staff on campus. He bravely looked at them and asked them “what are your challenges?”.

The room went almost silent as everyone began to contemplate what it was that they were facing. He followed that with “without challenges you do not grow”.

A message that will echo a reminder to these young professionals as they come face to face with real life obstacles in the corporate world.

Schonbrun ended his lecture with a final piece of advice, “Get a mentor, find a role model”, he tells them to work until they get there.

After the event, Schonbrun spoke one on one with students and signed copies of his book.

The Barney School has had a multitude of interesting speakers, but all the  students and faculty agreed that this was overall the most captivating and inspiring speaker to have ever come to the University.

People like Ari Schonbrun have taken great strides to recover their lives after the fall of the Towers.

He helped to rebuild Cantor Fitzgerald from the ground up. After facing massive defeat, Cantor Fitzgerald refused to give up, and to this day remains one of the most respected accounting firms in the country.

Though the events on Sept. 11, 2001 were tragic, Schonbrun was able to find the positive in his life afterwards and continued his success story.

Miracles & Fate on 78  is a best seller, and one of the most inspirational books on the market. It is a story of true miracles, miracles that saved the life of this truly faith filled man.

Being that so many of our students here at UHa are from New York, Sept. 11 hits home for many of us.

All of us here at the University will never forget the lives of those who were lost and those who sacrificed their own to save others.

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