Remembering Pan Am Flight 103 Through Remembrance Scholars
Emily Saad ’24
- Undergraduate Dual
You're honored to be able to advocate for these people and learn about them, and you feel close to what's in their history and what they loved. It is a feeling that I have never felt before, but has been a blessing.
Emily Saad ’24 (WSM/NEW) has not only been passionate about her studies at Syracuse University and the Whitman School of Management but also about representing both with a multitude of honors.
During her time at Syracuse University, Saad, along with many other students, has learned about the tragic history of Pan Am Flight 103 for the first time. As she was learning about the history and how Syracuse University honors the victims, an upperclassman in her sorority was also a Remembrance Scholar. Saad says that seeing her sorority sister honoring the legacy of Pan Am Flight 103 was an eye-opening experience on what it means to be a Remembrance Scholar.
Saad applied in her junior year for the Remembrance Scholarship, which included a question about how Syracuse University came together as a community following this tragedy. As a dual major in Newhouse and Whitman, Saad decided to create an advertising campaign for her application which honored the victims by connecting them to current-day students studying in the same schools.
Each Remembrance Scholar is assigned a victim from Pan Am Flight 103 randomly, and the scholars get to learn who the victim was through their archives at Bird Library. Saad’s scholarship is in memory of Stephen John Boland (NEW), who was also an advertising major.
“Learning about Stephen has been such an emotional and unique experience. Steve was a bright person and I’d like to think that we would have been friends, if I had been lucky enough to meet him. Through his archives, I have learned so much about him, Syracuse, the tragedy of Pan Am Flight 103, and its aftermath,” Saad says. “You're honored to be able to advocate for these people and learn about them, and you feel close to what's in their history and what they loved. It is a feeling that I have never felt before, but has been a blessing,” Saad says.
Saad says that each year, Remembrance Scholars are tasked with making sure Pan Am Flight 103 and its victims are honored and remembered by all students.
“Every single year, we get further removed from the event, and although time may heal grief, history is often forgotten by the masses. Remembrance Scholars are tasked with educating the community about the impact of the Lockerbie Air Disaster and we attempt to honor the victims through memories of their accomplishments and personalities. This is a very important part of Syracuse University and our school’s culture,” she says.
Being a Remembrance Scholar is not easy as it comes with a great responsibility to the victims, their family and friends, the University and everyone who has been touched by this tragic event.
“It's bittersweet,” Saad says. “Learning about the people on that flight and how they wanted to change the world, you take on their legacy. We have to incorporate that into our daily lives, so they are remembered beyond their tragic deaths."
For other students who may be interested in becoming a Remembrance Scholar, Saad offers this advice: “Really have a deep understanding and a knowledge of why you want to be a Remembrance Scholar. Do your research. There's a lot of resources online through the library about what happened and about victims. And, be yourself; if you're creative, be creative with it,” she says. “Connect it back to what remembrance means to you.”
By Rylee Pohancsek