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Heroism Award Named for Oklahoma City University Alumnus

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week the creation of the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience, which is named in honor of an Oklahoma City University School of Law alumnus.

Rescorla has been recognized for his bravery during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. He is credited for leading an evacuation of 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees from their headquarters in the building. All but six of the workers survived, and Rescorla was last seen going back up the staircase to help more victims. He was the company’s vice president of security at the time of the attacks.

Rescorla graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1975.

One of Rescorla’s many commendations came in 2011 when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano presented the DHS Distinguished Public Service Medal to Rescorla’s widow during a ceremony in New York City commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

“Since the 9/11 attacks, we have seen exceptional models of resilience all around us,” Napolitano said during the ceremony. “By honoring Richard Rescorla with the Distinguished Public Service medal, we remember his heroism and commitment to the preparedness of the thousands of employees under his watch.”

There will be a full story about Rescola’s rescue efforts and evacuation preparedness program in the next issue of OCU LAW Magazine, which will be released later this spring.

DHS started accepting nominations for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience this week, and an honoree will be named in September. The nomination period will be open until May 15. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/rrraward.