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Back To On Campus Home September 2007 Volume 33, Issue 11 Home

INSIDE ON CAMPUS

9/11 hero speaks at Texas Union

9/11 hero William Rodriguez speaks at the Texas Union about how he survived the World Trade Center attack and helped save the lives of 15 others. Photo: Mark Rutkowski9/11 hero William Rodriguez speaks at the Texas Union about how he survived the World Trade Center attack and helped save the lives of 15 others.
Photo: Mark Rutkowski

University student group, A Project for the New American Citizen, hosted 9/11 hero William Rodriguez on Aug. 10 in the Texas Union Ballroom as he told the story of how he rescued 15 people from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

For nearly 20 years Rodriguez was a maintenance worker at the World Trade Center. On 9/11, he was the only person at the site with the master key to the North Tower stairwells and led firefighters up the stairwell, unlocking doors as they ascended, aiding in the successful evacuation of hundreds of those who survived.

Rodriguez then re-entered the Towers three times after the first North Tower impact at about 8:46 a.m., and is believed to be the last person to exit the North Tower alive, surviving the building’s collapse by diving beneath a fire truck.

After receiving medical attention at the site for his injuries, Rodriguez spent the rest of 9/11 as a volunteer in the rescue efforts, and at dawn the following morning was back at Ground Zero.

He has been honored five times at the White House and has helped draft and implement legislation on behalf of 9/11 family members.