Welles Crowther's parents, Alison and Jefferson, speak to the runners. Photographs by John Quackenbos.

In one of the University's proudest traditions, the BC community comes together each year for the Volunteer and Service Learning Center's Red Bandanna Run, held to honor 9/11 hero Welles Remy Crowther '99. On October 15, 2016, a crowd of some 1,900 registrants gathered on Linden Lane for the 12th running of the 5k; 1,437 crossed the finish line. The leaders were Carroll School of Management sophomore Ian Ritchie and classmate Alison-Marie Burns of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

Proceeds from the event support the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust.

2016 Red Bandanna 5k starting line

On Sept. 11, 2001, Crowther — who had been an economics major and varsity lacrosse player as a BC undergraduate — was working as an equities trader for investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill and Partners in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the plane comandeered by terrorists struck the building at 9:03 a.m.

Trained as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Nyack, NY, Crowther wrapped his trademark red bandanna around his face to help him breathe through the smoke, and organized a rescue effort to guide survivors down the building’s stairwells to safety.

2016 Red Bandanna 5k racers

He twice returned into the building – once carrying a stricken woman down 17 floors to safety – and then joined a New York Fire Department team in its effort to free victims still trapped under debris. He was killed when the building collapsed at 9:59 a.m.

The Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust was established by the Crowther Family to honor Welles and keep his memory alive through good works benefitting young people. The Trust recognizes and supports academic and athletic excellence in young men and women who serve their communities, and also supports other not-for-profit organizations that benefit young people, through annual gifts and special awards.

Red bandannas beneath windows at BC

Boston College varsity sports, club, and intramural teams annually join the race, wearing red bandannas or Crowther's jersey number, 19. View more images on the Boston College Athletics website.

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