Students, recent graduates and the family of Bradley Hoorn ’01 gathered in Dwight Chapel Sunday afternoon to remember the life of the Calhoun College graduate who died Sept. 11 in the World Trade Center.
Friends told stories about Hoorn’s days at Yale, Yale University Chaplain Frederick Streets read from Psalms, and students performed music at the memorial service honoring the youngest of the Yale alumni who died in the terrorist attack on New York.
Hoorn was remembered as stylish, loyal, ambitious, funny, organized and caring. Friends said his hair was always impeccably combed, his fetish for Porsches was intense, and he showed up at parties with his own drink: a martini in a real martini glass.
“Brad was a gentleman, and he showed us how to be one too,” said Daniel Pollack-Pelzner ’01 in a letter read at the ceremony.
Others also emphasized Hoorn’s polish and dignity.
“The most distinguishing thing about Brad was the sense of decency he conveyed,” said Calhoun Dean Stephen Lassonde. “This seemed to arise out of a recognition of Brad’s that everyone around him deserved his attention.”
This decency was translated into loyalty to friends and to Calhoun, Lassonde said.
He recalled that one of Hoorn’s close friends from freshman year took several years off, returning as a sophomore in Hoorn’s senior year. Hoorn had promised to room with his returning friend and did so at the expense of a coveted Calhoun senior single.
Lassonde also knew Hoorn through the Calhoun housing committee, which Hoorn lead his senior year.
“He possessed a genius for organization,” said Lassonde. “He was the kind of person you could turn a project over to with complete confidence.”
Friends also recalled Hoorn’s commitment to the larger world beyond Calhoun.
“He retained a healthy and sane awareness, perhaps rooted in his love of family 1,000 miles away, that the world didn’t end at Elm and College,” Pollack-Pelzner said.
Hoorn was from the small town of Richland, Mich., located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Friends knew he was very close to his parents and younger sister and frequently flew home to visit. Weekends at home were vacations from his busy new job as a research associate at Fred Alger Management on the 93rd floor of 1 World Trade Center.
That job seemed like a natural first step after graduation for Hoorn, whom Calhoun Master William Sledge described as “a young man eager to make sure his goals were clearly articulated and could be accomplished.”
But Sledge knew the relaxed, mischievous side of Hoorn also.
He recalled Hoorn moving in sophomore year with a large room decoration he had brought from home.
“I found it interesting to find Brad, who was so proper, and wanted to make sure people knew he was proper, ensconced in one of Calhoun’s premier party suites with a moosehead,” Sledge said.
Sledge said that Hoorn’s life would never be eclipsed by the tragic way and day that he died.
“No terrorist attack or force of hateful destruction — will wither these memories,” Sledge said.