Today we remember the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. It is one of those tragic moments in history. In fact, most people can remember where they were and what they were doing at the exact moment of this historical event. For me, I was director of student life at Albright College getting ready for another day on campus helping students with their organizations and their personal problems. Little did I know that at 8:45 a.m. life, as we knew it in America, would change dramatically for all of us. On that day, 2,966 people lost their lives in the attacks. Sadly for Kappa Delta Rho, we lost two Brothers, Tyler Ugolyn and Mark Ryan McGinly.
Tyler Ugolyn, Nu Alpha ‘01, Columbia University, was an outstanding NCAA student-athlete who, as a 6’4″ senior at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, was ranked as one of the top 275 basketball players in the country, nominated to the McDonald’s All-American team, and mentioned as an Honorable All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Recruited by more than 50 colleges, he selected Columbia where he excelled both on and off the court cofounding Columbia Catholic Athletes and a weekly basketball clinic for Harlem-area youngsters besides volunteering his time at a soup kitchen. As a Nu Alpha Brother, he served in leadership positions as vice president, secretary, and webmaster.
Upon graduation from Columbia in 2001, Tyler began his first job working as an equity research analyst on Wall Street for Fred Alger Management, a leading investment management firm, based on the 93th floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center. He, along with David Alger, the firm’s president and legendary money manager, and 35 of the firm’s overall 55 employees were lost on September 11. The following week Sports Illustrated honored Tyler’s memory with the article “Picture this Perfect,” written by Jeff Pearlman.
As the years have passed, Tyler’s legacy has spread beyond the courts, but it is usually related to the sport of basketball, which he loved. His parents, Victor and Diane, and younger brother, Trevor, established the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation in 2001 to honor his memory. The foundation provides support to youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurbishment and providing financial support to character building educational programs and skills clinics to children in urban settings. The foundation annually, as an official member of the NCAA Final Four Men’s Championship Community Initiative, renovates an inner-city basketball court in the community hosting the championship games. The courts are named “Tyler’s Court,” To date courts have been renovated and dedicated in San Antonio, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Houston, Texas, with New Orleans, Louisiana, scheduled for next year. The foundation also renovated courts in Springfield, Massachusetts, during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement week in a unique public-private partnership with the City of Springfield where Tyler was born.
Mark Ryan McGinly, Iota ’97, Bucknell University, was born on December 24, 1974, in Washington (Georgetown), D.C. — “The greatest Christmas present imaginable,” according to his father Bill McGinly. Mark graduated from Madison High School in 1993. He entered Bucknell following in the footsteps of his high school basketball teammate, Kevin Wenk. Mark played golf at Bucknell and joined Kappa Delta Rho, while Wenk, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, continued to play basketball. Upon graduation Brother McGinly was employed by Merrill Lynch. At the time of the attacks, Mark was working for Carr Futures as a precious metals trader.
Mark’s Brother, Sean McGinly, created a documentary titled Brothers Lost telling the story of 31 men who lost their brothers during the attacks. For the fifth anniversary of the attacks, HBO bought the film, premiering it in New York City. “I’ve thought a lot about Mark and what it really means to have, and lose, a brother,” Sean’s voice says in the documentary. “He died in an instant, and in many ways it was almost like he had just vanished.”
The McGinly family has spent the past 10 years trying to make sure Mark’s memory does not vanish. The movie and a scholarship fund the family created in Mark’s name have carried the McGinlys through difficult moments. Incidentally, Drew McGinly, another brother, took his carrier landing tests on September 11, 2002, exactly one year after his brother was killed. While attending the weddings of Mark’s college and high school friends, the McGinlys often wonder what their own son’s wedding would have been like. Every day, they wear silver bracelets engraved with Mark’s name and WTC as a constant reminder.
“I always wondered about why people would have plaques. I never really liked them. And then I lost my son,” McGinly said, wiping clean the granite monument honoring his son, which has a photo that reveals straight lines of slicked black hair, bright eyes, and a sly grin. “Now, my biggest fear is that no one will remember him.”
Tyler and Mark exemplify what the KDR Brotherhood stands for — Gentlemen who promote human dignity, positive relationships, moral excellence, high ideals, and service to mankind as their brothers’ keepers.
Visit www.TylerUgolyn.com for more information about Tyler Ugolyn. Donations may be sent to The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, 17 Cardinal Court, Ridgefield, CT 06877.
Information about Brother Mark Ryan McGinly was gathered from an article that appeared on the Vienna.patch.com website, September 11, 2011.