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OPINION: SA Should Rename Julie’s Lodge After First Responder Alum

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With the recent 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks recently passing, it is time we once again as students, alumni, family, and friends of the University at Albany recommit ourselves to remember the fallen from our Great Dane family.

The attacks in Manhattan claimed the lives of 19 University alumni, each of which was taken too soon and too tragically. Among these, we remember Joseph “Joey” Maffeo, a firefighter for Ladder Company 101 out of Brooklyn. Maffeo grew up on Staten Island, where he lived after graduation in 1994 with his wife and their one year old son.

On Sept. 11., Maffeo went into the World Trade Center and sadly did not come out. He was only 30 years old.

It is the selfless sacrifice of Maffeo which we as Great Danes should always aspire to and strive to emulate in our own lives. But it is not enough to emulate, we must also remember. There is no better a way to remember an individual who gave the ultimate sacrifice than to memorialize them.

At present, the latest addition to Dippikill (the 850-plus acre wilderness retreat owned by the Student Association) is a lodge named “Julie’s Lodge” which is named for a former employee of the SA whose position was terminated in 2016.

Having spoken to the Maffeo family, it is clear that Joseph loved Dippikill, coming up with his dog often during his time as an undergrad, and even as an alum. Joseph found peace and tranquility at Dippikill, and it held a special place in his heart for its relaxing environment.

I can think of no more fitting a memorial to one of UAlbany’s greatest heroes than to rename this soon to be completed lodge after Maffeo. As a member of the UAlbany community, as a former member of the SA Senate, and as the son of a 9/11 first responder myself, I am honored to work with the Maffeo family on this project,

I ask that other members of the UAlbany community join me in petitioning the SA, and the Dippikill Board of Directors to rename the newest lodge in memory of Maffeo, so that all generations of Great Danes can reflect on the sacrifice that one Great Dane made for many.

Conner Dunleavy is a former Student Association senator. He is the co-founder of the Nassau Flag Company. 

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