Honoring Our Alumni Lost on 9/11
Homecoming-Reunion Weekend, held Sept. 9-11, was especially poignant this year as we marked the 15thanniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that took the lives of two former student-athletes, Colleen Supinski '96 and Chris Vialonga '93.
Both died in the World Trade Center that fateful September morning—Supinski on the 104th floor of the South Tower, where she was an associate trader for Sandler O'Neill &Partners; and Vialonga on the 92nd floor of the North Tower, where he worked as a foreign exchange trader for Carr Futures. Supinski was one of 66 Sandler O'Neill employees who died that day, and Vialonga was one of 69 Carr Futures employees to perish.
A remembrance ceremony was held at Susquehanna's 9/11 memorial honoring Supinski and Vialonga on the anniversary date. Located between the Blough-Weis Library and Hassinger Hall, the memorial overlooks the football stadium and track where Supinski and Vialonga spent much of their time as student-athletes.
Supinski was on the women's track and cross country teams, and was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority on campus. Vialonga was a standout offensive lineman on the football team and a significant contributor to the 1991 South Region Championship squad's run to the national Division III semifinals. He was also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
A Special Space
Homecoming weekend began with the dedication of the Chris Vialonga Sports Performance Center in the lower level of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex. The "VioCenter," as it's called in recognition of Vialonga's longheld nickname, was supported by a number of his SU teammates and friends, who contributed more than $440,000 to the $500,000 weight room renovation project.
From ample equipment to a modern design, the "Vio Center" will accommodate more athletes in less time by increasing the rack systems from four to 14, making workouts more efficient and productive.
The center also comes with a new head strength and conditioning coach for 2016. Joe Schoenleber came to Susquehanna in August with more than 20 years of experience in the field of strength and conditioning. Most recently, he served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he oversaw the programming for 23 varsity teams, including the Division I men's and women's ice hockey.