Family and friends share memories of September 11 victim Lindsay Morehouse ’96, and what they are doing to honor her legacy
Lindsay Morehouse ’96 often went out of her way to make others feel welcome. She was the organizer of her many groups of friends, arranging their New Year’s Eve plans in July.
“Whatever we did, it was always such a fun time,” said her close friend Sara Sparks ’97.
Morehouse was a 24-year-old equity research assistant for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, working on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower on September 11, 2001. She was one of 67 of the firm’s employees killed that day.
“This was a girl who exuded life,” said Theresa Gerardo-Gettens, who was Lindsay’s adviser in Con/20 in her Fifth Form year. “When you saw Lindsay coming down the hall, you knew you were going to smile.”
Sparks spoke of her friend’s boundless energy, which often included Lindsay starting her day by going for a run before most of her friends had left their beds. On weekends, she would host wine and cheese parties and motivate her friends to venture out to listen to live music, including her favorite band, Seeking Homer. She was such a big fan that the band reached out to perform a memorial concert shortly after Lindsay’s death, calling her a “vibrant and loving soul” with a “radiant smile.”
“Lindsay loved to dance,” recalled Sparks, who was sharing an Upper East Side apartment with Lindsay at the time of her death. “Soon after I met Lindsay at St. Paul’s, I found myself dancing around her room to a variety of songs.”
“When it came to having fun, there was no one who did it better,” added Lindsay’s friend Jill Thompson Smith ’96. “If there was a road trip to be taken, Lindsay’s bags were packed. If there was a concert to see, she had tickets. If there was a dance floor in the room, she was on it. Lindsay had a no-holds-barred love of fun and life, and I miss that, and her, dearly.”
Her exuberance translated to the tennis court, where Lindsay was a fierce, but joyous competitor. She arrived at St. Paul’s as a Fifth Former and quickly earned the No. 1 spot on the girls tennis ladder. She went on to earn All-America honors and another captainship with the Williams College tennis team.
“Lindsay was a real team leader, tough competitor, and a friend to her team- mates,” recalled Marianne Cook, who coached tennis at St. Paul’s for many years. “After all these years, I still think of her often.”
Gina Kim Sumilas ’98 was a doubles partner to Lindsay as a Fourth Former. She still listens to a mixed tape that Lindsay made for her during Kim’s Fourth Form year, on a day she was feeling particularly down.
“I remember her for her spirit, her kindness, and, most of all, her friendship,” said Kim.
Sparks and Smith both recalled Lindsay’s close relationship with her parents, Kathy Maycen and Ted Morehouse, with whom she was in touch daily, sharing the many details of her life.
“I just remember the most loving daughter imaginable,” said Mrs. Maycen. “She was certainly not perfect, but she was a perfect daughter for me.”
An enthusiastic volunteer, Lindsay was scheduled to meet her new “Little Sister” through Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC) on September 15, 2011, four days after she perished. According to Sparks, Lindsay “acted as if she were interviewing for the most important job of her life” when she met with the New York City chapter of BBBS in the weeks before her death.
Shortly after 9/11, her parents established the Lindsay Morehouse Scholarship to send alumni of BBBS of NYC to college. A similar Morehouse scholarship at Williams gives first preference to students directly affected by 9/11, or the child of a fireman, policeman, or member of the military. Mrs. Maycen also endowed a memorial scholarship in her daughter’s name at her alma mater, Connecticut-based Hopkins School.
“She wanted to help someone less privileged than she,” said Mrs. Maycen. “That is why we established and funded a college scholarship at BBBS of NYC. It has been a privilege for me to select the recipients of the Lindsay Morehouse Scholarship among the many qualified applicants each year.”
Other tributes include a bench and memorial wall dedicated at St. Paul’s in 2002 adjacent to the outdoor tennis courts, a two-tiered memorial garden overlooking the Williams tennis courts, and a memorial tree nearby. The Morehouse Tennis Award was established by Williams rival Amherst College to honor the New England Division III player who most emulates Lindsay’s qualities of sportsmanship. Mrs. Maycen and Mr. Morehouse also donated a nine-court facility at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the school Lindsay attended before St. Paul’s. And Lindsay’s name is one of nearly 600 etched on the footprint of the South Tower at the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.
As the reality of September 11 hit Lindsay’s friend Sara Sparks, she knew immediately that she wanted to honor Lindsay’s memory by continuing her friend’s good works. Sparks contacted BBBS of NYC about taking over Lindsay’s match and, by November 2001, she had been paired with 11-year-old Tiffany Belmond. In a feature article printed in the Fall/Winter 2004 issue of The Match, the newsletter of BBBS, Sparks told writer Alan Annis how she and Tiffany helped one another to cope with the tragedy. “Sara told Tiffany stories about Lindsay, and Tiffany wrote a poem about the tragedy to help people overcome their losses and fears,” Annis wrote, adding that the two became spokeswomen for the organization.
“Lindsay would have been the best Big Sister,” said Sparks. “I wanted to fulfill the dream of my friend. She never had the chance to impact the life of a Little Sister, so I wanted to do this in Lindsay’s honor.”
Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of Alumni Horae.