Recalling the minute details of life as a Yale undergraduate is not always easy for Steven Sion ’01. But when it comes to his former roommate Brad Hoorn ’01, ten years apart have not come close to fading cherished memories.
“As time goes on, the only things you remember are the memories that are good,” Sion said. “The catchphrases he had, the times at the Yale Club, all the quirky things he did — all those are crystal clear.”
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Hoorn and Sion were suitemates in Calhoun from sophomore through senior year and, following their graduation, the two shared an apartment in New York City. Hoorn worked as a research analyst-in-training for the financial services company Fred Alger Management on the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. At 22 years old, he was the youngest Yale alumnus to pass away on September 11, 2001.
Despite working in a vibrant city, friends said Hoorn never forgot his roots. A tall man of calm demeanor, Hoorn hailed from Richland, Mich., a small township of only 7,500 people, where he loved to go boating with his father.
Growing up, friends said Hoorn had a passion for tennis and golf, as well as a deep infatuation with the luxury car brand Porsche. They said Hoorn could do anything he set his mind to, and in his senior year at Yale he followed through on one of his dreams: he purchased a 1987 red Porsche 911.
“Brad was always a tremendously kind, hardworking and smart man,” said his friend and former suitemate Daniel Pollack-Pelzner ’01. “I have no doubt that he would be running the company by now with a whole fleet of Porsches.”
In the ten years since the September 11th tragedy, Hoorn’s friends have each found their own ways of commemorating his life.
Pollack-Pelzner said he wears a tie each year on Sept. 11 in memory of Hoorn always being “polite and neatly attired.”
Rebecca Saenz ’01 and her husband Luis Costa ’01, both close friends of Hoorn at Yale, plan to play tennis together this Sunday because of the game’s importance to Hoorn. Sion said he plans to be in New York on Sunday.
“I just feel like I have to be here,” he said.
Hoorn’s family also continues to keep his legacy alive. In the weeks following Hoorn’s passing, his family established a memorial fund in his name.
At Yale, Hoorn is remembered in Calhoun College through the Bradley Van Hoorn scholarship which is awarded a graduating member of the senior class.
“Brad was a gentleman, and he showed the rest of us how to become one too,” Pollack-Pelzner said.